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Hashim Amla reached his 24th ODI century on Saturday against Sri Lanka in their ICC Champions Trophy opener. Amla got to his century in 112 balls smashing five fours and two sixes in the process. His contribution has also helped South Africa reach a strong first innings total. While Amla has not been the aggressor in the innings, he has been a valuable anchor for the rest of his team mates to build innings.
Amla opened the South African innings with Quinton de Kock after Upul Tharanga, who is leading Sri Lanka in place of Angelo Mathews, won the toss and chose to bowl first. The two got South Africa off the a slow start. By the time de Kock was dismissed in the 12th over, South Africa had put up only 44 runs on the board. Faf du Plessis then joined Amla in the middle and the two ensured that Sri Lanka don’t have an upper hand after the dismissal of the in-form de Kock. Du Plessis and Amla went on to put 145 runs for the second wicket with the former playing the role of the aggressor. Du Plessis was eventually dismissed and just an over later, South Africa lost captain AB De Villiers. Amla himself was run out in the 42nd over.
Amla has somewhat refound his form in limited overs cricket after a lean run in the past few months. Prior to the Champions Trophy, Amla was one of the most consistent performers for Kings XI Punjab in the recently concluded 10th edition of the Indian Premier League. Amla ended the tournament as the sixth highest run-scorer with 420 scored in 10 matches.