Johannesburg – Hashim Amla praised a superb team effort in the Proteas' 153 run win against Sri Lanka in Galle on Sunday.
Amla's maiden win as Test captain was backed by positive intent and aggression from both the batsmen and bowlers, as well as an attacking tactical mindset from the skipper.
“The batting really set it up in the first innings, it would have been quite difficult to bat last here on this wicket. The way that the bowlers rallied around worked out really well,” Amla said after the match.
One of the standout qualities from Amla's first match as captain were the two sporting declarations, which set up an enticing contest on the final day.
“Naturally the thought was there that we could lose the game,” Amla added.
“The uncertainty is the exciting part about it. If we lost the game I wouldn't have any regrets about declaring at 370. I wanted to have as many overs to bowl to win the game.
“Its not easy batting last on this wicket and I just wanted to get as many overs as possible, if you lose the game so be it.”
Amla lauded Dale Steyn's Man-of-the-match performance, which inspired a relentless assault from the pace attack in difficult conditions.
“His figures speak for themselves. He bowled excellently, the lengths, pace and aggression was superb.
“It was a great performance from a great leader of our attack.”
Steyn, however, was more modest when asked about his figures of 9/99.
“I'm happy with these figures,” Steyn said.
“To be totally honest, I'm just happy that we won this cricket game. It's tough to come and play cricket here in Sri Lanka so to have done something to help the team win is great, but I'm just happy we won.” – Sapa