South Africa begin ICC Champions Trophy campaign with comfortable victory

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World No. 1 South Africa will fancy their chances against a depleted Sri Lanka side, who will most likely miss the services of injured skipper Angelo Mathews, when the two sides face off in a Group B clash of the ICC Champions Trophy at The Oval here on Saturday.

Amla, whose knock moved him past India's Virat Kohli as the fastest player to reach 25 ODI centuries, was in impeccable form until being run out. They lost their first practise match against Australia by 2 wickets in a very close contest while New Zealand defeated them by 6 wickets in the second match.

Tahir, who was introduced in the 18th over, was the main tormentor of the Lankan batsmen as he returned with brilliant figures of four for 27 from his 8.3 overs.

But Kagiso Rabada has shouldered the responsibility well in company of Wayne Parnell, all-rounder Chris Morris and the dibbly-dobblies of Dwaine Pretorius.

First De Villiers leapt to remove Kusal Mendis with a one-handed catch at mid-on, then, in Tahir's first over, the South Africa skipper produced a stunning swoop and throw to run out Dinesh Chandimal.

In reply Sri Lanka came up 88 runs short, Asela Gunaratne's unbeaten 114 not enough to secure a win.

And Morkel struck immediately, removing the risky Dickwella (41) with his second ball, caught at third man by Parnell.

"It's great to see", De Villiers added. Lanka were in a spot of bother but they were well ahead of the Proteas in terms of runs at that stage.

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8 - This was Imran Tahir's eighth four-wicket haul in ODIs.

Regardless, de Villiers was forthright about his responsibilities with over rates on match eve.

It became a double wicket over just three balls later when Tahir trapped Chamara Kapugedera for a duck.

Sri Lanka responded well and had South Africa shaking at times, but they could only muster 203 for nine as their challenge faded, with quick-fire wickets early on halting momentum. As despite Kusal Perera making 44, which gave their fans some hope.

Amla's 25th one-day worldwide century, a composed 103, was the backbone of South Africa's 299-6 at The Oval.

Pradeep should have had his second wicket when Faf du Plessis, on six, skied an attempted hook but Lasith Malinga made a complete mess of the catch on the boundary. Amla scored at a decent pace, taking 115 balls for his knock that featured only five fours and two sixes.

But Amla got together with Du Plessis to put up a 144 run partnership which proved to be the difference. The elegant left-hander nicked a full length ball off Pradeep in the slips. As far bowling department is concerned, Nuwan Kulasekera, Thisara Perera and Lasith Malinga are the experienced ones. The South African came out and played a pull shot, but he ended up top-edging.

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