Kusal Perera makes big gains after heroic effort against South Africa

Dubai [UAE]: Sri Lanka batsman Kusal Perera has advanced an astonishing 58 places in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test Player Rankings after a memorable performance helped his team score a thrilling one-wicket victory over South Africa in Durban.

The left-handed Perera has reached a career-best 40th position after 15 Tests, scoring 51 and an unbeaten 153 that guided his team to an improbable win, partnering in the highest ever unbroken 10th wicket stand in a winning cause in first-class cricket.

He added 78 runs for the last wicket with Vishwa Fernando (six not out) to beat an 83-year record set by the Australians against Madras in February 1936.

Perera’s gain is one of many from the first of two Tests between the two teams, even as Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins has overtaken Kagiso Rabada to take the top spot among bowlers without taking the field as the South Africa fast bowler finished with only three wickets in the match. Cummins is the first from his country since Glenn McGarth in February 2006 to top the Test bowlers’ list.

Left-arm fast bowler Vishwa Fernando has moved up 26 places to a career-best 49th place after finishing with eight wickets in the match while Kasun Rajitha (up 10 places to 59th) and Lasith Embuldeniya (at 68th place after his debut match) are the notable gainers in the list for bowlers.

For South Africa, captain Faf du Plessis is among the top 10 batsmen for the first time in his career after scores of 35 and 90 helped him gain seven slots to reach join-10th position along with his counterpart Dimuth Karunaratne.

Quinton de Kock is also in that list, gaining four slots to reach eighth position and closing in on his career-best sixth position, which he had occupied two years ago. Fast bowler Duanne Olivier has continued his upward trend to reach a career-best 22nd position after advancing three slots.