De Villiers laments lack of support for Amla

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Captain AB de Villiers rued a severe lack of support for centurion Hashim Amla, after South Africa slumped to an 87-run defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka in Wednesday's second ODI in Pallekele.

Captain AB de Villiers rued a severe lack of support for centurion Hashim Amla, after South Africa slumped to an 87-run defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka in Wednesday's second ODI in Pallekele.

Chasing a staunch target of 268, the Proteas slipped to a mere 180 all out. Amla scored almost two thirds of the total en route to a third consecutive ton this tour, but the next highest contribution was de Villiers' stifled 29.

The middle order were alarmingly inadequate, with all-rounders Jacques Kallis, JP Duminy, Ryan McLaren and Vernon Philander – and the left-handed David Miller – collecting just 10 runs.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock, meanwhile, perished for four. The reply, in fact, would have read considerably less – had tail-ender Dale Steyn not dug in for a defiant 23.

"Hashim played an amazing innings and not enough partnerships around him. I got out to a soft dismissal. Dale showed that if you spent enough time you could do. I got out but there are other batsmen too," said de Villiers.

"It's never nice to win one and then lose one – you look like an inconsistent team. We should have got closer. I don't like us to lose not being in the game the last 10 or so overs."

McLaren and leg-spinner Imran Tahir had earlier orchestrated a characteristic collapse. Having lost the final five wickets for 13 runs in Sunday's series opener in Colombo, the Sri Lankan lower order perished in similar fashion 72 hours later.

"I thought we started really slowly with the ball. Still in with a chance. We pulled it back to 260-odd from 300 and above," concluded de Villiers. The third and final ODI will get underway at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota. Two Tests – in Galle and Colombo – will follow.

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