Colombo - Hashim Amla struck the only century of the South Africans' warm-up match against Sri Lanka Board President's XI in Moratuwa, off just 79 balls, and anchored the team to a comfortable victory. He had support from Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers and JP Duminy before Morne Morkel spearheaded the bowling effort.
The chief concern about the extra responsibility that looms over Amla, who is South Africa's new Test captain, is how the leadership role will affect his batting. If the early signs are anything to go by, Amla is not thinking that far ahead yet. Amla is not the ODI captain and, in his innings, showed that his focus is still firmly on scoring runs in that format for now.
Worryingly for the South African camp, Jacques Kallis, who was due to be reinstated to the No.3 position had to be withdrawn from the match because he hurt his upper back during warm-ups. CSA tweeted that Kallis' exclusion was a "precaution", and was hopeful he will recover in time for the first ODI on Sunday.
Kallis' unavailability meant du Plessis was promoted up the order, ahead of de Villiers or Duminy. He was called on in the 14th over after Amla had steered the South Africans to a speedy start. Quinton de Kock contributed just 18 runs in the opening stand of 61 and was out lbw to offspinner Suraj Randiv after facing 40 balls.
When du Plessis joined Amla, South Africa enjoyed their most profitable partnership of the innings. The pair put on 92 runs in 13.2 overs - a rate of 6.90 runs to the over - with Anuk Fernando, Jehan Mubarak and Jeevan Mendis being punished. Amla reached his century with the only six of his innings and then retired out. De Villiers and du Plessis kept South Africa going until the 30th over when du Plessis was out for 41. De Villiers and JP Duminy then upped the ante but with de Villiers scoring quickly, he retired on 41 to allow the lower order time in the middle.
Duminy brought up a half-century but David Miller and Ryan McLaren were foxed by Randiv. South Africa lost five wickets for 71 runs but still managed to post a healthy 297, which their bowlers defended with ease.
As they do in the longer format, Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander made the early inroads before Morkel backed them up with a fast and furious spell. The Sri Lanka Board President's XI were 40 for 5 inside 10 overs and the contest was over.
The South African spinners, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir and Aaron Phangiso, were economical with none of them going for more than 4.75 runs to the over. Phangiso was the only one to claim any wickets but that may not be enough to earn him a place in Sunday's starting XI, with Tahir and Duminy being considered the frontline spinners. Wayne Parnell established an advantage in the left-arm pace department, with more success than Beuran Hendricks. Parnell took two wickets in this three overs, Hendricks did not claim one but was the most expensive bowler and also conceded the most extras. He came under attack from Randiv, who kept the South Africans in the field for longer than they would have liked.
Randiv's 53 at No.9 lent some respectability to a Sri Lankan scorecard which only had runs from Dinesh Chandimal to speak of. Chandimal raised his bat to a half-century to push for a recall after he was dropped for the first two ODIs.
HM Amla retired out 104
Q de Kock lbw b Randiv 18
F du Plessis c Udawatte b Fernando 41
AB de Villiers retired out 41
JP Duminy c PARP Perera b Gamage 54
DA Miller b Randiv 3
R McLaren lbw b Randiv 20
VD Philander c Chandimal b Gamage 6
WD Parnell c Randiv b Gamage 2
DW Steyn not out 3
M Morkel not out 0
EXTRAS: (w 4, nb 1) 5
TOTAL: (9 wickets; 50 overs) 297
FOW: 1-61, 2-153, 3-174, 4-218, 5-223, 6-267, 7-291, 8-294, 9-294
BOWLING: NLTC Perera 7-1-43-0, PLS Gamage 10-0-36-3, SANJ Fernando 10-0-57-1, S Randiv 10-0-47-3, BMAJ Mendis-6-0-43-0, J Mubarak 5-0-56-0, KDK Vithanage 2-0-15-0.
SRI LANKA BOARD PRESIDENT’S XI:
WU Tharanga c de Kock b Steyn 4
ML Udawatte c Miller b McLaren 10
J Mubarak b Philander 5
HDRL Thirimanne c de Villiers b Morkel 3
LD Chandimal c du Plessis b Parnell 50
KDK Vithanage c de Kock b Morkel 0
BMAJ Mendis c McLaren b Parnell 11
NLTC Perera c de Kock b Phangiso 0
S Randiv c McLaren b Phangiso 53
SANJ Fernando c de Villiers b Morkel 21
PLS Gamage not out 11
EXTRAS: (lb 4, w 12, nb 5) 21
TOTAL: (all out; 39.2 overs) 189
FOW: 1-5, 2-14, 3-24, 4-40, 5-40, 6-78, 7-82, 8-98, 9-154, 10-189
BOWLING: DW Steyn 5-0-24-1, VD Philander 5-2-20-1, R McLaren 6-1-33-1, M Morkel 7-1-29-3, JP Duminy 4-0-15-0, Imran Tahir 4-0-19-0, AM Phangiso 2.2-0-9-2, WD Parnell 3-0-15-2, BE Hendricks-3-0-21-0.
TOSS: Sri Lanka Board President's XI
UMPIRES: RD Kottahachchi, RMPJ Rambukwella
MATCH REFEREE: DSBP Kuruppu