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Champions Trophy 2017 : South Africa starts campaign with a win against Sri Lanka

Hashim Amla featuring the probable XI for Pakistan vs South Africa

Group B’s first match of the ICC Champions Trophy was played between Sri Lanka and South Africa at Kennington Oval, London. Sri Lanka won the toss and and invited the Proteas to bat first. South Africa managed to win this match quite easily by beating Sri Lanka by 96 runs.

Also Read: 5 classic India-Pakistan ODI matches feat. Sachin, Kohli & Miandad

Batting first, South Africa put on a total of 299 on board. The South African bowlers took care of the rest as they bowled down the Sri Lankan side for 203 in 41.3 overs and started the tournament on a high note.

Here are the five talking points from the game:

Hashim Amla’s ton power South Africa to 299

South African opener Hashim Amla played the anchor’s role for the South African innings. He scored 103 facing 115 balls and his innings included 5 boundaries and 2 sixes. This was his 25th ODI ton and meanwhile he became the first South African batsman to reach this milestone. Not just his century, but his innings also played an important role to guide the African side to a massive total of 299. Amla opened the inning and was out in the 43rd over when the team’s total was 232-5.

Crucial partnership: Amla – du Plessis

Quinton de Kock was dismissed for 23 in the 13th over when the team’s total was 44. One down to bat was Faf du Plessis and the team needed a strong partnership to have a strong hold of the game. Along with Hashim Amla, du Plessis put on a 145 runs partnership for the second wicket on the board. du Plessis was dismissed after scoring 75 runs in the 34th over of the African innings. This second wicket partnership between Amla and du Plessis laid the foundation of the South African innings.

South Africa’s bowling department restricts opposition

South African bowlers didn’t allow any Sri Lankan batsmen to settle in the middle for long. Skipper Upul Tharanga and Kusal Perera showed some resistance but couldn’t do much. Spinner Imran Tahir was the best among the Proteas bowlers and he took 4 wickets for 27 runs in 8.3 overs. His economy during the innings remained 3.18 which is today’s best among the South African bowlers. He was equally assisted by his fellow teammates Chris Morris, Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada. They took two, one and one wicket respectively.

Upul Tharanga and Kusal Perera’ heroic innings goes in vain

Sri Lankan skipper Upul Tharanga seemed determined to take his team to the target but he didn’t receive much support from the other end. He had a opening wicket partnership with Niroshan Dickwella of 69 runs but after that wickets kept falling at regular intervals. In the 18th over, Sri Lanka were 117/4. Later, Tharanga was also dismissed for 57 in 69 deliveries and the team’s total at that point was 145/5 in the 26th over. However, Kusal Perera stood firm at the other end and carried Sri Lanka’s innings forward but wickest kept falling at the other end. Kusal Perera remained unbeaten for 44.

Quick knock by JP Duminy

Jean-Paul Duminy played an important knock of 38 facing just 20 balls towards the end of the South African innings. He came in to bat when the African side was down to 226-4 in the 42nd over. Hashim Amla was playing well at the other end but was dismissed in the very next over. So the burden of taking the team to a high score was handled well by Duminy. Duminy, with help of small contributions from others, managed to take his team to 299 in 50 overs. Duminy remained unbeaten for 38.

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