Hashim Amla is like a rock in the South Africa side: AB de Villiers

Hashim Amla scored his ninth ODI ton in the first ODI against Sri Lanka at Paarl Getty Images

By CricketCountry Staff

Paarl: Jan 13, 2012

AB de Villiers on Thursday revealed that he had asked middle-order batsman Hashim Amla to help him win the first match as South Africa captain by scoring a century, and Amla obliged with his ninth international ton to help his side crush Sri Lanka by 258 runs in the first ODI at Paarl.

“Hash congratulated me and wished me luck at the start of the match and I said he could help me by scoring a century,” De Villiers said.

“He obviously took me seriously and went out and did just that. He s a rock in the side. He s been so consistent and he s still young so hopefully he ll be around for many years to come,” de Villiers was quoted as saying by Sports24.

The new skipper said he is not expecting an easy ride in the years to come.

“I ve played this game long enough to know it s not always going to be this easy, but it was a great team performance and that is what got me really excited,” de Villiers said.

De Villiers said South Africa were in command in the game from the moment they won the toss.

“We were on the attack right from the start, so my captaincy wasn t really tested. My hardest test is still coming and the real test will be when we re under pressure and I have to juggle the bowlers and think more quickly on my feet,” de Villiers said.

He also heaped praise on the South Africa pacers, as they bundled out Sri Lanka for just 43.

“I asked the bowlers to run in with the new ball and strike early, which they did. They ran in with force and made it work. It was key for us to run in and hit the deck hard and there was intent and aggression in our bowling,” he said.

The second of the five-match ODI series will be played on Saturday, January 14 at East London.