De Villiers proud of Miller, McLaren

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Skipper AB de Villiers hailed the collective finishing role of the hard-hitting David Miller and all-rounder Ryan McLaren, after South Africa fetched a 75-run win over Sri Lanka in Sunday's first ODI in Colombo.

Skipper AB de Villiers hailed the collective finishing role of the hard-hitting David Miller and all-rounder Ryan McLaren, after South Africa fetched a 75-run win over Sri Lanka in Sunday's first ODI in Colombo.

While centurion Amla and half-centurion de Villiers formed the backbone of the choice to bat first, Miller's quickfire 36 not out and a complementary cameo from McLaren capped a final total of 304 for five.

"We fought really well and really proud of our first innings here. I wasn't too happy with my dismissal. I'm not going to go easy with myself. I thought the guys recovered really well. McLaren and Miller showed what this team was about in the end," said de Villiers.

The veteran Kumar Sangakkara and opener Tillakaratne Dilshan scored a commanding 88 and brisk 40 respectively in an insufficient reply of 229 all out. The former was particularly impressive, caning several boundaries shortly before McLaren struck in the 38th over.

"It is always a concern when Sangakkara walks out and Dilshan also played really well. We have to come out with some answers like we did here. Sri Lanka are a very good team at home," added de Villiers.

The Proteas endured a heavy four-one series defeat during 2013's visit to Sri Lanka. The second ODI will be played in Pallekele on Wednesday. Hambantota will host the third and final fixture on Saturday.

"We are very motivated to win our first series here, things have started really well and we'll have to go really hard in the next few games. Hopefully we are on our way, but certainly not there yet," concluded de Villiers.

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