Kusal Perera became a national hero in Sri Lanka on Sunday after scoring an unbeaten 153 to guide his country to a sensational first Test victory in SA. The country’s cricket legends and politicians lauded Perera, who has become a linchpin for the ailing national side since fighting off doping charges in 2016.

Former skipper Kumar Sangakkara, who had staunchly defended Perera when he was suspended in December 2015, called the performance at Kingsmead in Durban on Saturday “unreal”. “What an amazing win,” Sangakkara said on Twitter. “One of the best if not THE best overseas win by [Sri Lanka]. Kusal Janith Perera was unreal.” Sangakkara stood by Perera when he was wrongfully accused of doping in 2015. The International Cricket Council lifted the suspension in 2016 and apologised for the botched testing. Another former Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardena said on Twitter: “What a beauty! One of the best innings under pressure.” Jayawardena said Perera, who put on a last-wicket p...

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