Champions Trophy: Amla, Tahir lead South Africa past Sri Lanka

  • Champions Trophy: Amla, Tahir lead South Africa past Sri Lanka

Champions Trophy: Amla, Tahir lead South Africa past Sri Lanka

Tahir took 4 wickets and put a halt on Sri Lanka's scoring rate as they surrendered quite easily in the end. On Sunday, Pakistan will take on arch rivals India India at Birmingham.

On a sluggish surface, South Africa failed to fully capitalise on Amla's 25th ODI ton.

Speakin g at the toss, Tharanga said, "We will bowl first, overcast conditions - there might be some help early on".

Smith also had praise for Amla's timely return to form, but was particularly pleased with Du Plessis's contribution to the victory.

Opener Amla and Faf du Plessis combined for 145 for the second wicket for South Africa, which started slow and finished fast.

It was in the seventh over when F du Plessis after being dropped by Malinga guided the bowl to the boundary for four more as eight runs came of the over.

Hashim Amla took control of the innings with a patient 103 runs from 115 balls.

That mark seemed well within reach when the energetic Dickwella was swatting the ball all around The Oval. Their partnership ended however in the ninth over when Dickwella was caught at third man by Wayne Parnell, off Morne Morkel's second delivery.

De Villiers shared Smith's sentiments as he praised Tahir's performance in the post-match conference, saying that he is a "great asset" for the team.

Sri Lanka is all set to be led by Angelo Mathews who is making his debut with this Champions Trophy 2017.

Tahir did his job three deliveries later as Chamara Kapugedera (0) returned to the dressing room without bothering the scorers.

The skipper Upal Tharanga who is filling Angelo Matthews' shoes in this match has made a decision to introduce Pradep instead in place for Malinga in the ninth over.

South Africa's next game is against Pakistan on Wednesday at Edgbaston, while Sri Lanka will look to bounce back in what will be an even harder task against India at the Oval on Thursday.

It was important for the first 10-15 overs not to lose too many wickets. Tharanga pleaded guilty, so there was no formal hearing.

Kusal Perera played nicely for an unbeaten 44, but the rest of the Sri Lankan batting order fell away thereafter, with Tahir continuing to have an impact including affecting a run-out himself - a direct hit dismissing Suranga Lakmal for nought - and taking the final wicket to seal an opening win for South Africa.

South Africa captain AB de Villiers: "It wasn't as true a wicket as the England v Bangladesh game so I was happy with our total". It was his fourth century against Sri Lanka which is also a record against that country.

Later, following the introduction of spinner Seekuge Prasanna and medium pacer Asela Gunaratne, South Africa got some leeway, with Sri Lanka spreading the outfield.

"We're well aware of that, and they deserve our respect". "We were going at around just under three an over when he came in to bat, so there was big pressure there".