Amla appreciates alliance with AB

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Batsman Hashim Amla cut a characteristically modest figure, after leading South Africa to a great 75-run victory over Sri Lanka in Sunday's first ODI at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

Batsman Hashim Amla cut a characteristically modest figure, after leading South Africa to a great 75-run victory over Sri Lanka in Sunday's first ODI at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

Amla, who scored a fine ton in the warm-up tour fixture earlier this week, continued a fine stretch of form en route to a commanding 109 in a final total of 304 for five.

His vigil featured eight fours and a solitary six, spanned a patient 130 deliveries – and saw former opener Gary Kirsten's tally of 13 ODI centuries equaled.

The Sri Lankans' response proved entirely insufficient, as leg-spinner Imran Tahir's three wickets and a brace each for all-rounder Ryan McLaren and pace ace Dale Steyn ensured a weak tally of 229 all out.

"Obviously it was a good wicket to bat on, I know we managed to bowl Sri Lanka for 220-odd, but the game went right to the 40th over. The pitch eased out a little bit, but also the bowlers bowled really well," said Amla.

"AB got away in our partnership and allowed me to play my game. It was a little slow, the pitch, but it stayed the same throughout the game and that's fair enough in the end."

The 31-year-old Amla was recently appointed new Test captain in the wake of the stalwart Graeme Smith's retirement earlier this year. The Sri Lankans and Proteas will meet for two Tests after this three-match ODI series.

"Obviously when the Tests start I'll put the thinking cap on, now I'm just concentrating on help AB out in the ODIs," concluded Amla.

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