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After Hashim Amla’s brilliant hundred, his 25th in the format, Imran Tahir bowled a brilliant spell (4/26) to help South Africa register a convincing 96-run win over Sri Lanka in their ICC Champions Trophy opener on Saturday. Chasing the 300-run target, Sri Lanka had a steady start but Tahir’s spell changed the course of the match as he picked crucial wickets in the middle overs.
With the bat, Amla (103) and Faf Du Plessis (75) impressed for the Proteas while JP Duminy’s unbeaten 38 gave the total a much needed push in the final overs. Nuwan Pradeep was pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers as the seamer returned with impressive figures of 2/54. Sri Lanka’s experienced pair of Dinesh Chandimal and Chamara Kapugedara failed to get going in the middle overs and no one could actually capitalise on the solid start the openers gave them in the chase.
Apart from Imran Tahir’s four, Chris Morris picked two while Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel returned with a wicket each. It was another record-breaking day for Amla as the right-hander raced to 25 ODI tons in just 151 innings. The previous record was held by Virat Kohli who took 162 innings to get there. Amla is also the fastest to 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000 and 7000 runs in the ODIs.
After South Africa’s win, there were plenty of reactions on social media. Most were around Tahir’s celebration after those wickets, Amla’s hundred and record and another dismal performance by Sri Lanka. Here’s a look at some of them before attention shifts to India vs Pakistan, scheduled to be played in Birmingham on June 4, 2017.