ICC World Twenty20
Amla: SA kept eye on opener
Hambantota - The Proteas feel they have a better idea of what to expect in their opening match of the ICC World Twenty20, after keeping a close eye on the match between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe on Tuesday evening.
The South Africans held a light training session at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday, and have gathered as much information as possible ahead of the match against Zimbabwe on Thursday.
“Obviously it gave us a better idea of how they’re (Zimbabwe) playing,” Proteas vice-captain, Hashim Amla
said about the opening fixture. “I think more importantly for us was how the wicket reacted, the kind of scores you’re looking at and also the size of the field. That probably was more important to us than the result from the game.”
Amla was awarded the vice-captaincy role in June last year, and although he holds a senior role in all three formats, has only played 10 International T20s. He was the leading run-scorer in the drawn series against England earlier this month, and is hoping to continue with the form.
“I’m relatively inexperienced in the T20 format,” he said. “Fortunately I managed to get some runs in England which helped with the confidence. I’m playing in a very good team and that really helps as well, batting up front you’ve got guys like Jacques (Kallis) who has been involved for some time.
“I’m taking every game as a learning experience and I’m hoping to make good contributions.”
The squad travelled by military helicopter’s to Hambantota, which is situated roughly 230km from the Sri Lankan capital city of Colombo. The ground is built on the outskirts of Hambantota and in spite of its isolation and logistical challenges, has given the players a memorable experience.
“Everybody was really excited about the helicopter trip. We have had a few experiences of playing at stadiums far away from the hotel so it is nothing new to us, most of the guys are good travellers so they enjoy these experiences, I think it adds to the flavour of the tournament.”