London: 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, legspinner 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.
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.
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. Du Plessis went after the bowlers, allowing Amla to calmly reach his 25th ODI century, tied for fifth best all-time.
Completed scoreboard in the Champions Trophy Group B match between South Africa and Sri Lanka at The Oval on Saturday:
Hashim Amla run out (Mendis) 103
Q. De Kock c Dickwella b Pradeep 23
F. Du Plessis c Chandimal b Pradeep 75
A.B. de Villiers c Kapugedera b Prasanna 4
D. Miller c Prasanna b Lakmal 18
J.P. Duminy not out 38
C. Morris run out (Tharanga) 20
W. Parnell not out 7
Extras: (1lb, 10w) 11
Total: (for six wickets in 50 overs) 299
Did not bat: K. Rabada, M. Morkel, Imran Tahir.
Fall of wickets: 1-44 (De Kock), 2-189 (Du Plessis), 3-194 (De Villiers),
4-226 (Miller), 5-232 (Amla), 6-277 (Morris)
Bowling: Malinga 10-0-57-0 (5w), Lakmal 10-0-51-1 (2w), Pradeep 10-0-54-2 (1w), Gunaratne 10-0-64-0 (1w), Prasanna 10-0-72-1 (1w).
N. Dickwella c Parnell b Morkel 41
U. Tharanga c Miller b Tahir 57
K. Mendis c De Villiers b Morris 11
D. Chandimal run out (De Villiers) 12
C. Kapugedara lbw b Tahir 0
K. Perera not out 44
A. Gunaratne c Parnell b Tahir 4
S. Prasanna lbw b Morris 13
S. Lakmal run out (Tahir) 0
L. Malinga b Rabada 1
N. Pradeep c Duminy b Tahir 5
Extras: (lb 6, w 8, nb 1) 15
Total: (all out, 41.3 overs) 203
Fall of wickets: 1-69 (Dickwella), 2-94 (Mendis), 3-116 (Chandimal), 4-117 (Kapugedera), 5-146 (Tharanga), 6-155 (Gunaratne), 7-191 (Prasanna), 8-191 (Prasanna),
Bowling: Rabada 8-1-46-1 (3 w) (1 nb), Parnell 10-0-54-0 (1 w), Morkel 6-0-31-0 (2 w), Morris 7-0-32-2 (1 w), Tahir 8.3-0-27-4, Duminy 2-0-7-0 (1 w).
Result: South Africa won by 96 runs
Man-of-the-Match: Imran Tahir (RSA)
Toss: Sri Lanka
Umpires: Aleem Dar (PAK), Ian Gould (ENG)
TV umpire: Paul Reiffel (AUS)
Match Referee: David Boon (AUS)