Monday, 26 June, 2017

South Africa vs Sri Lanka: Amla century helps Proteas to comfortable victory

South Africa vs Sri Lanka: Amla century helps Proteas to comfortable victory South Africa vs Sri Lanka: Amla century helps Proteas to comfortable victory
Clarence Duncan | 12 June, 2017, 07:16

South Africa's bowlers didn't start off the best, allowing Sri Lanka's opening pair of captain Upul Tharanga and Wicket Keeper Niroshan Dickwella put on 69 for the first wicket, taking them just 40 balls to reach fifty, whereas it took South Africa 83 to reach fifty.

Amla's 103, his 25th one-day worldwide ton, should have been the platform for a heftier target in glorious sunshine on a flat Oval pitch.

He first took a brilliant catch leaping high to his right at short mid-on to send back Kusal Mendis and then in the 18th over affected a sensational run-out to dismiss Dinesh Chandimal.

In the preceding three-match series, he managed two half-centuries even as the Proteas lost the rubber.

De Villiers to lead South Africa this champions trophy. Tharanga pleaded guilty of the offence and accepted the proposed sanction.

De Villiers said he is keen to find a place for Morne Morkel in the side, but then the question would be which player makes way.

Upul Tharanga, captaining Sri Lanka in place of the injured Angelo Mathews, remained, but when he was caught at deep cover off Tahir for 57, the contest was effectively over.

With Tharanga also batting confidently through those overs, it seemed inconceivable that Sri Lanka would not at least mount a muscular challenge to South Africa's total. The Sri Lankans were still steaming when de Villiers finally chose to introduce Tahir in the 18th over.

That set up an ultimately comfortable win, although alarm bells were ringing for the top-ranked limited-overs side when Sri Lanka, in reply, raced past 100 off just 88 deliveries with eight wickets in hand.

"Most likely he's going to play the next game", Tharanga said in the post-match press conference on Saturday (June 3).

"But we┬┤re still humble at the same time and know that we have to work hard and take it one step at a time to win this", he added.

The Sri Lanka vs South Africa Champions Trophy match will be broadcast live on Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD 1 and Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Hindi HD 1. "He's a great asset for us and it was a fantastic performance".

Amla's 25th one-day global century, a composed 103, was the backbone of South Africa's 299-6 at The Oval.

He would have made an impact if he had played as a batsman but a failed fitness test before the match ruled out that possibility denting Sri Lanka's hopes.

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