Champions Trophy: Hashim Amla and Imran Tahir shine in South Africa win
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 14, 2017,
Jun 14, 2017, 21:20
Du Plessis' edge behind from Sri Lanka's Nuwan Pradeep was the first of four South African wickets to drop for 43 runs. Leg-spinner Imran Tahir took four wickets for 27 in 8.3 overs.
Amla's latest masterpiece, in just his 151st ODI innings, was the mainstay of South Africa's 299/6, a commanding total on an Oval wicket that proved too much for Sri Lanka's batsmen to chase down during their Saturday's Champions Trophy clash.
"Faf played exceptionally well coming in that situation", de Villiers added.
Sri Lanka's next match in the Champions Trophy on 8 June against India.
"It was an unbelievable innings", de Villiers said.
The Proteas captain removed Kusal Mendis by plucking a drive out of the air one-handed, and then expertly dived and threw in one movement to run out Dinesh Chandimal. Captain Tharanga stayed at the crease for some time before he was out in the 26th over and Asela Gunaratne (4) followed suit in the 30th over when Sri Lanka were 157 for 6 with 143 runs needed from 20 overs with just four wickets in hand.
Sri Lanka head into the tournament as underdogs and one of the key reasons they´ve struggled in recent months has been the absence of fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who hasn´t played any ODI cricket since November 2015 due to a knee injury.
Expected playing XI:South Africa: Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Faf Du Plessis, AB De Villiers (C), JP Duminy, David Miller, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Andile Phehlukwayo, Imran Tahir.
It is to be noted that a few days prior to the game South Africa skipper AB De Villiers' had said that they were desperate to win the Champion Trophy this time around.
The 33-year-old, playing his first one-day global since November 2015, seemed to lose his balance as he stepped backwards onto the rope, and then in diving forward he somehow failed to get a hand onto the ball. "He did really well to assess the conditions".
The 30-year-old had also appeared to be in good batting form, having struck 95 off 106 deliveries against Australia in Sri Lanka's first warm-up encounter. "We have to come back strongly against India, especially with our batting".
Cape Town - Former Proteas skipper Graeme Smith believes Imran Tahir is the country's "greatest asset" in One-Day International (ODI) cricket.