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Sri Lanka falter in chase of 300 despite brisk start

Imran Tahir picked four wickets in the game
Imran Tahir picked four wickets in the game

South Africa 299-6 (Amla 103)
Sri Lanka 203 (Tahir 4-27) by 96 runs
3rd match, Group B, ICC Champions Trophy, Kennington Oval

Hashim Amla became the fastest to 25th ODI century while Imran Tahir picked a four-wicket haul as South Africa completed a 96-run victory against Sri Lanka in their ICC Champions Trophy opening game at Kennington Oval.

Sri Lanka new ball bowlers keep South African openers in check

After Sri Lanka inserted South Africa into batting first, Lasith Malinga (0-57) and Suranga Lakmal (1-51) bowled tight lines not allowing Hashim Amla (103) and Quinton de Kock (23) to score freely. At the end of the first powerplay, South Africa managed just 39 runs but most importantly they negotiated the phase without losing a wicket. Nuwan Pradeep (2-54) capitalised on the pressure built by Malinga and Lakmal after having de Kock caught behind in the 13th over.

Things could have changed from bad to worse for the Proteas had Malinga caught Faf du Pessis (75) at deep fine leg in the 17th over.

Du Plessis - Amla lay solid platform:

The first six of the innings came from Amla in the 19th over and as the boundaries kept coming the duo completed a run-a-ball 50-run partnership. Amla's own half-century came off 56 deliveries and at the halfway mark, South Africa reached 130 for one. Du Plessis reached his fifty off 52 deliveries and a strong platform was laid for the middle order.

Amla completes century but regular fall of wickets hamper Proteas:

It was Pradeep once again, who provided the breakthrough for South Africa when he had du Plessis caught at deep midwicket and in the next over Seekkuge Prasanna (1-72) accounted for AB de Villiers (4). Amla broke Virat Kohli's record of fastest to 25th ODI century but was soon run out. With David Miller (18) also struggling to get going, South Africa were 234 for five in 43 overs.

A late flourish from JP Duminy (38 not out) and Chris Morris (20) ensured Proteas scored 63 runs off the final seven overs to end the innings at 299 for six.

Dickwella and Tharanga get Sri Lanka off to flier

Niroshan Dickwella (41) and Upul Tharanga (57) started the innings cautiously much like the South African openers, scoring 10 runs off three overs. During that phase, Tharanga also had a reprieve when Kagiso Rabada (1-46) dropped him off his own bowling. Dickwella soon opened up scoring five boundaries and a six while Tharanga smashed two more boundaries in the eighth over as Sri Lanka raced to 68 for naught in eight overs.

Tahir makes his presence felt as Sri Lanka collapse

Morne Morkel (1-31) provided some respite for South Africa when he dismissed Dickwella and from there on Tharanga waged a lone fight as Chris Morris (2-32) had Kusal Mendis (11) caught at midwicket. The 18th over bowled by Tahir (4-27) was a game changer as Chandimal (12) was run out and two deliveries later, the leg-spinner trapped Chamra Kapudegarda (0) LBW.

Tharanga reached his fifty off 59 deliveries but fell soon after as Sri Lanka were bowled for 203 runs in 41.3 overs despite a good solid effort from Kusal Perera (44 not out). Tahir was awarded the man of the match for his game changing four wicket haul.

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