Scoring centuries seems no big deal for South Africa’s run machine Hashim Amla.
The opener quietly goes about his task of piling up some freakish numbers and despite not being a muscular opener, he is extremely aggressive in his approach. It doesn’t’ come as a surprise when one comes to know that Amla became the quickest batsman to get to 25 ODI centuries, brushing ahead of Indian superstar Virat Kohli.
Against Sri Lanka at the Oval in his side’s opening encounter of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, Amla was extremely fluent in his approach, as he piled up a fine century. Thanks to his superb knock, South Africa got to 299 on board and the target was always going to be really tough for Sri Lanka.
That turned out to be precisely true, as barring Upul Tharanga, none of the Sri Lankan batsmen stood up in the chase and faltered against Imran Tahir. Post the game, skipper AB de Villiers lauded Amla for his superb batting performance.
“It wasn’t as true a wicket as the England-Bangladesh game,” said de Villiers. “It was possible for them to chase it down, but we needed a few early wickets, which we got. It was important to assess in the first 10-15 overs. They bowled exceptionally well, and credit to our openers for seeing it out. It’s scary, a number of runs Hashim has piled on in his short career, hopefully, many more to come.”
On being quizzed upon introducing Imran Tahir quite late, de Villiers said,
“It was a difficult situation, it was just a feeling I got, there was no set plan. A little breeze, I had a little chat with him, and I just had a good feeling, when I brought him on.” What’s the biggest challenge as a captain: “Getting team selection right, and getting the balance right for every game.”