Proteas ODI captain AB de Villiers expressed his happiness at the Proteas’ resounding win over Sri Lanka on Sunday.
After leading his side to a 75-run victory over Sri Lanka in Colombo, and contributing a 70-ball 75 himself, De Villiers spoke of his satisfaction at claiming a rare win in the country, only the Proteas’ third in 17 ODIs there since 1993.
‘It’s very satisfying,’ he said of the win. ‘We had a tough tour here the last time we came. Even though we lost 4-1 I still felt like we weren’t that far off the mark, although the scorecard doesn’t agree with my comments. The belief and the way we have learned from the last time gives me a lot of satisfaction. We aren’t going to get complacent going into the next game, we know that we are going to have to work hard and the work starts all over in Kandy.’
Bowlers ‘pulled it back’
After posting 304-5, the Proteas bowlers did well to come back from a brutal early onslaught from Sri Lanka’s batsmen, which included hitting Imran Tahir for 24 runs in his first two overs.
‘Imran pulled it back really nicely after his opening two-over spell, and JP (Duminy) as well,’ he said. ‘All four seam bowlers also bowled really well together. I think it was a good team performance; it’s not about the seamers outplaying the spinners or vice-versa. It was a good wicket and those that got wickets did a good job.’
Amla ‘prepared well’ in England
The victory was set up by a top-order century from Hashim Amla, his 109 being his second score in the triple figures in as many matches on tour, after he made 104 in the warm-up game. De Villiers believes Amla’s time playing for Surrey in the County Championship made the difference.
‘I think he prepared really well coming into the series,’ De Villiers said of the new Test captain. ‘He played at Surrey for a month, got his technique in order and did really well there. He has hit the ground running here and his hard work has paid off. It’s amazing to bat with him, we enjoy each other’s company out there, like we did today. Hopefully there will be more of those partnerships to come.’
The Proteas go into the second game of the three-match ODI series with some confidence following their opening win, and will hope to wrap up the series on Wednesday in Pallekele.