Sri Lanka vs South Africa 1st ODI: South Africa draw first blood behind Amla’s century

Amla celebrates after scoring his 13th ODI century

Amla celebrates after scoring his 13th ODI century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

South Africa opener Hashim Amla scored a sparkling century to lead the Proteas to a convincing 75-run win over Sri Lanka in the first ODI in Colombo.

Amla was well supported by South Africa captain AB de Villiers, who smashed an entertaining 75.

However, Sri Lanka wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara deserves a lot of credit as well as he made a valiant 88.

De Villiers would have been pleased with his decision to bat first as the Proteas’ opening pair of Quinton de Kock and Amla amassed a 58-run partnership before de Kock was clean bowled by Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews for 27.

Veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis failed to trouble the scorers as he was given out lbw off the bowling of Ajantha Mendis for a duck.

Amla and de Villiers stabilised the innings with a 151-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before de Villiers was caught by Nuwan Kulasekara at long-off off the bowling of Mendis.

De Villiers’ brilliant knock of 75 came off 70 balls and included five boundaries and a six.

De Villiers struck five boundaries and a six during his knock of 75

De Villiers struck five boundaries and a six during his knock of 75

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Amla went on to score his 13th ODI century before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Mendis.

Amla’s outstanding innings of 109 came off 130 deliveries and included eight boundaries and a six.

Jean Paul (JP) Duminy mustered 16 runs before he was caught by Tillakaratne Dilshan at short cover off the bowling of Sachithra Senanayake.

South Africa ended up scoring 304/5 off their 50 overs thanks to David Miller and Ryan McLaren’s unbeaten 55-run partnership.

Miller finished on 36 off 21 balls, which included two boundaries and two sixes, while McLaren remained undefeated on 22 off 18 deliveries, which included two boundaries.

Mendis was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Senanayake and Mathews chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 305 to win, Sri Lanka got off to a solid start as Dilshan and Kusal Perera put together a 50-run partnership before Perera was caught by Morne Morkel at short fine leg off the bowling of Vernon Philander for 34.

Dilshan went on to score 40 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Morkel.

Mahela Jayawardene only made 10 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Imran Tahir.

Ashan Priyanjan fared no better as he was caught by Kallis as short third man off the bowling of Tahir for five runs.

Mathews couldn’t save his team as he was caught behind off the bowling of Morkel for 13 runs.

Lahiru Thirimanne and Sangakkara steadied the innings with a 52-run partnership, during which Sangakkara brought up his half-century, before Thirimanne was clean bowled by McLaren for 15 runs.

McLaren struck again just two balls later when Sangakkara was caught by Faf du Plessis, who was the substitute fielder, at extra cover for 88 off 84 balls, which included nine boundaries.

Sangakkara made a gutsy 88

Sangakkara made a gutsy 88

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Kulasekara only made one run before he was cleaned up by Dale Steyn.

Senanayake scored six runs before his stumps was were shattered by Tahir.

Sri Lanka were bowled out for 229 when Mendis was caught by McLaren off the bowling of Steyn for a duck.

Tahir was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Steyn, Morkel and McLaren snapped up two wickets apiece and Philander claimed one.

Mathews was not impressed with his team’s performance, and said: “We had a bad day at the office. South Africans played better cricket and we were rusty. After the start we got, the middle order made some poor shot selections and that cost us the game. If we’d held onto our catches, it would have been different. It was a very good wicket and the margin of error was very small. We bowled 45 overs very well. We are definitely under pressure but its pretty simple, we have to pull our socks up and win.”

De Villiers was pleased to be 1-0 up in the series, and said: “Hopefully on our way, [but] certainly not there yet. Sri Lanka are a very good team at home. We fought really well and [I’m] really proud of our first innings here. I wasn’t too happy with my dismissal. I’m not going to go easy with myself. I thought the guys recovered really well. McLaren and Miller showed what this team was about in the end. Its always a concern when Sanga walks out and Dilshan also played really well. We have to come out with some answers like we did today. We are very motivated to win our first series here, things have started really well and we’ll have to go really hard in the next few games.”

Amla was named Man of the Match, and said: “Obviously it was a good wicket to bat on, I know we managed to bowl Sri Lanka out for 240 but the game went right to the 40th over. The pitch eased out a little bit, but the bowlers bowled really well. AB got away in our partnership and allowed me to play my game. It was a little slow, but it stayed the same throughout the game and that’s fair. No, I dont think so. Obviously when the Tests start I’ll put the thinking cap on, now I’m just concentrating on help AB out in the ODIs.”

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