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Alasdair Strokosch's converted try in the final minute gave Scotland a 30-29 success over Italy at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
Italy had been less than 60 seconds away from securing their opening win on their three-game tour of South Africa, having already lost to Samoa and the Springboks.
It took less than a minute for the opening points of the game to arrive as Italy wing Leonardo Sarto ghosted over for an easy try out wide, just 50 seconds after the kick-off.
Scotland struck straight back however, with Matt Scott continuing his strong tour with a try, selling the Italian defence a dummy to cruise over after six minutes.
Sean Lamont also got in on the act on the quarter-hour mark after Greig Laidlaw latched onto a fumble from Giovanbattista Venditti.
Di Bernardo and Laidlaw added the extras to all three tries before the Scottish scrum-half landed a penalty to give Scotland a 17-10 advantage.
The Italian scrum made mincemeat of the Scottish pack with a series big pushes, leaving Leighton Hodges with no choice but to award a penalty try. Di Bernardo's conversion levelled the scores at 17-17 with 30 minutes played.
The closing stages of the first half sparked a kicking duel between fly-half Alberto Di Bernardo and Laidlaw and the game disintegrated into an arm wrestle after the interval.
Italy buckled down in the second half, looking to strangle the result over their Six Nations rivals with Di Bernardo's boot doing the damage.
He slotted home three successful penalties to give Italy a 29-23 lead with 14 minutes remaining after Laidlaw added his third penalty of the game straight after the interval.
Just when it looked like Italy might hang on for a morale-boosting victory Strokosch had other ideas, crossing after the final hooter to leave Greig Laidlaw with an easy match-winning conversion.Watch every Lions game live only on Sky Sports. Click here to sign up or upgrade now.