Hashim Amla’s 13th century in one-day international cricket and a 151-run stand with captain AB de Villiers led South Africa to a convincing 75-run win in the first one-day international against Sri Lanka on Sunday.
Amla scored 109 including eight boundaries and a six while de Villiers made 75 off 70 deliveries including five boundaries and a six to take the Proteas to 304 for five in 50 overs after electing to bat first at R. Premadasa Stadium.
Legspinner Imran Tahir took three wickets while seamers Ryan Mclaren, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel took two wickets each to dismiss Sri Lanka for 229 in the 41st over.
Kumar Sangakkara top scored with 88 for the home team.
Earlier, South Africa made a steady but cautious start after choosing to bat first at R. Premadasa Stadium, scoring 58 for the first wicket off 77 deliveries.
Opener Quinton de Kock looked well-set before he chased a wide delivery from Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews to be bowled off the edge for 27.
Veteran Jacques Kallis, who is playing his first international in seven months, lasted just two deliveries and was out without scoring trapped lbw by Ajantha Mendis.
Kallis’ dismissal brought Amla and De Villiers together and they provided the base for a challenging total.
Spinner Mendis picked up three wickets for 61 including those of Amla and JP Duminy (16) in 10 overs and raised hopes of a Sri Lankan recovery in the latter stages of the tourists’ innings.
But David Miller (36) and Ryan McLaren (22) shared an unbeaten stand of 55 runs for the sixth wicket to help their team finish on a high.