Amla, Tahir deliver comfortable win for South Africa

Hashim Amla’s century helped South Africa post 299 for 6 in its 50 overs; in reply, Sri Lanka was bowled out for 203, with leg-spinner Imran Tahir taking 4 for 27.

Hashim Amla celebrates his century.   -  Getty Images

Hashim Amla’s composed century set up a 96-run victory for South Africa over Sri Lanka in the Champions Trophy on Saturday. Amla’s 103 was backed up by Faf du Plessis’ 75 and JP Duminy’s 38 not out as South Africa posted 299 for 6. Sri Lanka was bowled out for 203 in the 42nd over, leg-spinner Imran Tahir taking 4 for 27.

Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Sri Lanka fought back well after Amla’s and du Plessis’ 145-run second-wicket stand looked to have set South Africa up for a huge total. The Sri Lankans made a stunning start to their chase, but failed to get near the target despite a stunning start.

Niroshan Dickwella and captain Upul Tharanga put on 68 runs in eight overs, but when Dickwella was caught off the bowling of Morne Morkel for 41 from 33 deliveries, the wickets never stopped falling. Tharanga did his best to hold the innings together with a 69-ball 57, but the trickery of Tahir, introduced in the 18th over, proved too much as he dismissed the captain along with Chamara Kapugedera and Asela Gunaratne to turn the momentum.

From then on, the only resistance came from Kusal Perera’s 44 not out as Chris Morris picked up two wickets, and Kagiso Rabada got one as Sri Lanka was bowled out.

Slow start

The final margin of victory was clear, but South Africa had to overcome a slow start to post its winning total, having been put into bat by Tharanga, who was standing in for injured skipper Angelo Mathews. South Africa scored just 44 runs in 12 overs when Quinton de Kock was caught behind off Nuwan Pradeep, and the medium-pacer almost had his second wicket shortly after as du Plessis, on 8, skied a hook shot into the leg side.

The opportunity fell to Lasith Malinga, making his first ODI appearance in almost two years, but he lost his footing as he trod on the boundary rope before spilling the ball. Malinga also failed to take a wicket in his 10 overs but, after all his injuries, he will be relieved to have come through the innings apparently unscathed.

Du Plessis went after the bowlers, allowing Amla to calmly reach his 25th ODI century, tied for fifth best all-time.

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