Cricket: Hashim Amla praises his South Africa side after Test series victory
Last Updated: 28/07/14 5:59pm
Hashim Amla paid tribute to the dogged resistance shown by his side after a draw against Sri Lanka in Colombo ensured he ended his first Test series as South Africa captain with a victory.
South Africa clinched the two-Test series 1-0 after they followed up a 153-run victory in Galle last week by hanging on to score 159-8 in the second innings of a rain-affected Test in Colombo.
Amla, who became South Africa’s first non-white captain after stepping in for the injured Graeme Smith last month, was delighted to have guided South Africa back to No 1 in the Test rankings.
"I have enjoyed the first two Tests, everything about it has gone pretty well," he said. "The players have responded brilliantly.
"We have had challenges like this before and we have managed to do some special things as a team in the last two years, and today was another example of the characters we have in the team.
"When we conceded 400 in the first innings, that was a setback, and then we were 13 for two. But it set it up nicely for the end."
The victory for South Africa was their first in Sri Lanka for 21 years. Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews cut a disappointed figure after the game, but singled out bowlers Rangana Herath and Thisara Perera for special praise.
“It's disappointing not to end up on the winning side," said Mathews. "We did everything right but they are a very hard team to beat, whether home or away.
"I'd like to make a special mention about Herath and Perera for the effort that they put in.
“They were unbelievable. It was always going to be hard to dismiss them but they put their hearts out to help us win the game. Unfortunately we could not pull it off."