AB de Villiers (right) said South Africa were really motivated to win their first ODI series in Sri Lanka © AFP
AB de Villiers (right) said South Africa were really motivated to win their first ODI series in Sri Lanka © AFP

Colombo: Jul 6, 2014

 

AB de Villiers said he was proud of the South African players’ fighting spirit in the first One-Day International (ODI) against Sri Lanka. South Africa thrashed Sri Lanka convincingly by a margin of 75 runs at Colombo on July 6, 2014.

 

The visitors had got off to a steady start after winning the toss, putting on 58 before losing two batsmen in quick succession. Opener Quinton de Kock was bowled by Angelo Mathews for 27 which included a mighty six over mid-wicket off spinner Sachithra Senanayake.

 

Just two balls later, unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis trapped star all-rounder Jacques Kallis leg before wicket with his trademark carrom ball for a duck, to reduce the Proteas to a shaky 60 for two. But Hashim Amla and de Villiers made light of the twin setbacks and steered the innings to a position of strength with their 141-ball stand.

 

But Amla and de Villiers made light of the twin setbacks and steered the innings to a position of strength with their 141-ball stand.

 

“We fought really well and I am really proud of our first innings here. I thought the guys recovered really well,” said de Villiers.

 

“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,” he said.

 

The victory Sunday was only South Africa’s third in 17 one-dayers against the hosts in Sri Lanka.

 

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

Amla, named the new Test skipper last month, was in top form although he was dropped on 49 by Thisara Perera at long-on.

 

The opener also saw an appeal under the Decision Review System go in his favour, with replays remaining inconclusive about whether he had nicked to the wicketkeeper while trying to go for a hook shot.

 

At the other end, de Villiers played a sparkling knock, his 75 coming off just 70 balls with the help of five fours and a six.

 

De Villiers, who was also dropped on 17, was out when he chipped a simple catch to Nuwan Kulasekara off Mendis.

 

David Miller (36 not out) and Ryan McLaren (22 not out) then unleashed some hard hitting in the final overs to take the visitors to their highest ODI total in Sri Lanka against the hosts.

 

Amla, named Man of the Match, completed his 13th ODI century before being trapped in front of the middle stump by Mendis. He hit eight fours and a six.

 

It was his second ton in two days after he hit a century in a practice game against a Sri Lankan President’s XI on Friday.

 

The second ODI will be played in Pallekele on Wednesday, followed by the third and final match in Hambantota on Sunday.