The world is still raving Ben Stokes' exceptional fourth innings hundred at Headingley with the 'greatest innings of all time' tag being floated around. However, a few months back, Sri Lanka's Kusal Perera did something quite similar in a less high profile series against an equally strong opponent in South Africa.
Here we go through a few striking similarities between the two knocks.
A memorable last-wicket stand
At Durban, Sri Lanka were 226/9 chasing 304, when Kusal Perera combined with Vishwa Fernando in a blistering last-wicket stand of 78, a record for the 10th wicket in successful fourth-innings chases, to take Sri Lanka home.
When England lost their ninth wicket, the total was 286 and the target 359. Ben Stokes was stuck with Jack Leach with the team still needing 73 to win. Stokes and Leach combined in a 76-run stand to take England home at Headingley.
Exceptional last-wicket stands are a rarity in the fourth innings of run chases. Fernando and Perera's is the highest 10th wicket partnership in the fourth innings which resulted in a win. Stokes and Leach nearly equalled it with a 76-run stand. These are the fifth and sixth highest partnerships for the 10th wicket in fourth innings in Test history (win or loss).
The 1, 3 and 5 link
Kusal Perera's brilliant knock encompassed 200 balls and he made 153 with 72 of them coming in the last-wicket stand with Vishwa Fernando. Stokes, on the other hand, made 135 with 74 off those coming in the last-wicket partnership with Jack Leach.
Both were unbeaten in their knocks and carried the team over the line in the final innings. When England lost their seventh wicket and Stokes was joined by Jofra Archer, England were 98 runs away with three wickets in hand. This was exactly the same for Sri Lanka and Perera with them needing 98 with three wickets in hand when the seventh wicket fell.
Fernando and Leach
The No 11's were an important part of Perera's and Stokes' knocks but they contributed little in terms of runs. Fernando made six in 27 balls in his crucial innings while Leach made just one in 17 balls and got off the mark only to level the scores.
To hit the winning runs, Stokes and Perera were both on strike off the last ball. Incidentally, both hit boundaries off the last ball to win the match for their respective teams.
Perera and Fernando were involved in a partnership for 95 balls while Stokes and Leach played out 62 balls. Fernando faced 27 of those 95 balls, a percentage of 28.42% while Leach played 17 off the 62 deliveries, a percentage of 27.41%.
Read: Five iconic last-wicket stands in the fourth innings of a Test match
Featured image courtesy: AFP / Glyn Kirk & Anesh Debiky