Fernando scored 75, while his partner Mendis remained unbeaten on 84.
After conceding a first innings lead of 68 runs, the Sri Lankan bowlers bounced back in the contest by bundling up the hosts on 128 in their second innings.
In response, Sri Lanka got off to a poor start with both the openers back in the pavilion for just 32. However, the duo of Fernando and Mendis added 163 runs for the third wicket helping Sri Lanka cruise towards a comfortable win.
Why should this series win by SL be viewed as the biggest ever upset in Test history?
- No Asian team has won a test series in SA
- Hosts SA has a quality bowling attack, are lethal at home
- Hosts SA were winning, visitors SL were losing prior to this series
- Man of the series, Kusal Perera showed the way. Was hit by a bouncer in Australia earlier, had to retire.
- SL played away from home; SL top 3 pace bowlers were injured
- SL was being led by a new Captain; No Chandimal and No Mathews
- Conceded a 1st innings lead in both Tests, batted fourth
The 1st Test was a thrilling drama, the 2nd Test was a thumping win.
2nd test loss is South Africa’s largest margin of defeat (in terms of wickets) in a home Test since 1994.
The cricket fraternity praised the Sri Lankan side for etching history under difficult circumstances. Here are the few tweets:
Congratulations !!! Great team work to achieve something special. proud of the boys.. Well done @IamDimuth and the team. ????????
— Mahela Jayawardena (@MahelaJay) 23 February 2019
Congratulations again @OfficialSLC for making history for Sri Lanka and Asia with this win. @IamDimuth @CHathurusinghe @KusalMendis1 @NiroshanDikka
— Kumar Sangakkara (@KumarSanga2) 23 February 2019
A remarkable test and series victory for @OfficialSLC, history making achievement. Who would’ve thought after their recent performances in Australia & NZ. #SAvSL #Congratulations
— Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) 23 February 2019
Arguably the best day ever in the history of Asian test Cricket n surely the best day ever for #SLC.
Weldone @IamDimuth n team!
You made the entire nation proud???????? #SAvSL #LionsRoar #Speechless
— Danushka Gunathilaka (@danushka_70) 23 February 2019
Congratulations to Sri Lanka on a fantastic Test series win against SA in SA. This must be one of their greatest moments in their Test history. My friend @RusselArnold69 will be a really happy man #SAvSL
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) 23 February 2019
?? HISTORIC WIN FOR SRI LANKA ??
Unbeaten fifties from Oshada Fernando and Kusal Mendis on the third morning help the visitors register their first ever Test series victory in South Africa.#SAvSL SCORECARD ?https://t.co/dkczebcheC pic.twitter.com/NCtu2hr1Z3
— ICC (@ICC) 23 February 2019
They’ve done it! Sri Lanka pull off a remarkable 2-0 series win over South Africa. Can you believe it?!
Scores here: https://t.co/25Tzy4bx6t #SAvSL pic.twitter.com/NjvMFWMoGS
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) 23 February 2019
It’s all over in PE, Sri Lanka have beaten South Africa by 8 wickets. They become the first sub-continent team to win a Test series on our shores. Superb batting by K Mendis (84*) & O Fernando (75*). Tough few days at the office for our boys, we know they’ll bounce back. #SAvSL pic.twitter.com/RfkltLL1qW
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) 23 February 2019
Wow, Sri Lanka! Hats off! Going where no Asian team has gone before, where better Sri Lankan teams haven’t. This is big! Very big.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) 23 February 2019
Mendis, who was named Man of the Match, for his brilliant knock said he is very happy with his performance. Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, the 24-year-old cricketer said, “I am very happy that I did well in this game and would like to continue my form from 2018. Would also like to thank the support staff, the physio – since I had twisted my ankle – and would like to thank the entire team.