Hashim Amla scored his 25th ODI century against Sri Lanka in South Africa’s opening match of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. He has got to the number in just 151 innings and has thus crossed Indian captain Virat Kohli to become fastest to get to 25 ODI centuries.
Kohli had taken 162 matches to get to the milestone. Just to put Amla’s achievement in perspective, Sachin Tendulkar took 234 innings to get to 25 centuries while former Australia captain Ricky Ponting took 279.
Amla had previously eclipsed Kohli to become fastest to 7000 runs in ODI cricket. Incidentally, he is also the fastest to reach 2000 runs, 3000, 4000, 5000 and 6000 runs. In the match against Sri Lanka, Amla acted as an anchor for the better part of South Africa’s innings and made 103 runs off 115 balls. A late charge by JP Duminy after Amla’s dismissal helped South Africa set a target of 300 for Sri Lanka to chase.
Sri Lanka did get off to a stable start to their chase with captain Upul Tharanga and Niroshan Dickwella putting up an opening partnership of 69 runs. But they never regained control over the charge after Dickwella’s dismissal. Tharanga scored a half century but none of the other Sri Lanka players could make much of an impact on the score board. Imran Tahir also hastened Sri Lanka’s capitulation and they were eventually dismissed for just 203 runs. This gave South Africa a dominant 96-run win in their first match of the ICC Champions Trophy.