On this day, in 2011, Sri Lanka won their first ever Test match on South African soil.
With seven defeats and one draw to their names on South African soil, there was no better time than to bag a victory against the Proteas in the second Test of their three-match series in Durban. After losing in Centurion by a massive innings and 81 runs courtesy of an epic 10-wicket haul from Vernon Philander, it was all to do for the islanders to prevent a series defeat.
Sure enough, the tourists pulled it together across all areas of the park, as centuries from Thilan Samaraweera and Kumar Sangakkara, as well as a pair of half-centuries from debutant Dinesh Chandimal, was backed up by a brilliant nine-wicket haul from Rangana Herath. It was no coincidence that a spinner inspired them to their first victory in Tests in a year and a half – since the great Muttiah Muralitharan retired.
Marchant de Lange bagged seven wickets in the first innings on debut, but Jacques Kallis got his first ever pair in Tests for the side to be blown away by 208 runs. The hosts bounced back emphatically to win by 10 wickets in the third Test in Cape Town to win the series, but the Boxing Day Test in Durban, now being played in Port Elizabeth, was the monkey off the back for the Sri Lankans.
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