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Amla, Tahir lead South Africa past Sri Lanka in Champions Trophy

Associated Press logo Associated Press 03-06-2017 By SAM JOHNSTON, Associated Press
South Africa's Hashim Amla during the ICC Champions Trophy, Group B match between South Africa and Sri Lanka at The Oval, London. Saturday June 3, 2017. (Paul Harding/PA via AP) © The Associated Press South Africa's Hashim Amla during the ICC Champions Trophy, Group B match between South Africa and Sri Lanka at The Oval, London. Saturday June 3, 2017. (Paul Harding/PA via AP)

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Hashim Amla's composed century set up a 96-run victory for South Africa over Sri Lanka in the Champions Trophy on Saturday. Amla's 103 was backed up by Faf du Plessis' 75 and JP Duminy's 38 not out as South Africa posted 299-6.

Sri Lanka was bowled out for 203 in the 42nd over, leg spinner Imran Tahir taking 4-27. Sri Lanka fought back well after Amla's and du Plessis' 145-run second-wicket stand looked to have set South Africa up for a huge total. The Sri Lankans made a stunning start to their chase, but failed to get near its target despite a stunning start to its response.

Full Scorecard: SA vs SL

Niroshan Dickwella and captain Upul Tharanga put on 68 runs in eight overs, but when Dickwella was caught off the bowling of Morne Morkel for 41 from 33 deliveries, the wickets never stopped falling.

Tharanga did his best to hold the innings together with a 69-ball 57, but the trickery of Tahir, introduced in the 18th over, proved too much as he dismissed the captain along with Chamara Kapugedera and Asela Gunaratne to turn the momentum.

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From then on, the only resistance came from Kusal Perera's 44 not out as Chris Morris picked up two wickets, and Kagiso Rabada got one as Sri Lanka was bowled out. The final margin of victory was clear, but South Africa had to overcome a slow start to post it's winning total, having been put into bat by Tharanga, who was standing in for injured skipper Angelo Mathews.

South Africa scored just 44 runs in 12 overs when Quinton de Kock was caught behind off Nuwan Pradeep, and the medium-pacer almost had his second wicket shortly after as du Plessis, on 8, skied a hook shot into the leg side.

The opportunity fell to Lasith Malinga, making his first ODI appearance in almost two years, but he lost his footing as he trod on the boundary rope before spilling the ball. Malinga also failed to take a wicket in his 10 overs but, after all his injuries, he will be relieved to have come through the innings apparently unscathed.

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Du Plessis went after the bowlers, allowing Amla to calmly reach his 25th ODI century, tied for fifth best all-time.

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(Video provided by Wisden)

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