London – South Africa captain A.B. de Villiers praised opener Hashim Amla and leg-spinner Imran Tahir in South Africa’s huge 96 run win over Sri Lanka in their Champions Trophy opener.
The Proteas posted 299 at The Oval on Saturday thanks to former captain Hashim Amla, who scored his 25th ODI century. He was the fastest to the milestone having got there in 151 innings.
“It was an amazing innings by Hashim. He did really well to assess the conditions, and communicated well with us what kind of score is going to be good,” De Villiers said.
Sri Lanka were cruising at 116 for two when Imran Tahir was introduced to the attack and the momentum swung South Africa’s favour immediately.
Tahir was Man of the Match after finishing with four wickets for 27 runs.
“It was close to ten out of ten,” said De Villiers.
“Not only with the ball in hand but that run out, it always shows me where the player is at when he shows that kind of dedication and commitment in the field. He is a great asset for us.
“He takes wickets and he is also economical most of the time. He had a fantastic performance today.”
South Africa’s fielding was outstanding as they produced two run outs through direct hits while the catching was top class.
“It’s always important to take those moments. Those little opportunities that come your way, which we did.
“So I was very happy with the way we fielded. We worked really hard at that part of our game, and very happy with the way it went today,” De Villiers added.