Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
South Africa opening batsman Hashim Amla is starting to reap the rewards from his county stint with Surrey after he scored a magnificent century against Sri Lanka during the first ODI in Colombo.
Amla was also involved in a 151-run partnership with ODI captain AB de Villiers.
“I think he prepared really well for this series by playing at Surrey for a month of two,” de Villiers said. “He got his technique in order there.”
Amla himself admitted that “playing a bit of cricket” for Surrey had helped him.
Speaking about the first ODI, Amla noted that it was a difficult surface to bat on during the early stages of the match.
“At first, we hung there,” Amla said. “Quinny got away a little but I just hung in and tried to support him in that phase. We took a little bit of time to settle and the wicket also got a little better.”
Amla also looked to have no troubles against the Sri Lankan spinners.
“We played them on merit. It didn’t turn a hell of a lot,” he said. “AB and I managed to get a rhythm going and rotate the strike but as the partnership progressed, it got easier. With AB at the end, the intensity is there, and you know you’re probably going to score quickly. These guys are good bowlers but the wicket didn’t turn a lot.”
De Villiers added that the surface created an even contest between bat and ball.
“It was a good wicket throughout the 90 overs. There were no demons in there,” he said. “There was not a lot of turn but enough for the spinners to work with. There was also not a lot of seam movement or swing but enough to keep the seamers interested.”