"He's just got a lot of passion for this team and he loves playing for South Africa".
Amla became the sixth batsman and first from South Africa to score 25 or more hundreds in One-day worldwide cricket.
3 - Amla took 15 innings to score five ODI centuries against Sri Lanka, which is the third-fastest by any player to score five ODI tons against any country.
South Africa, who were struggling at 59-1 in 16.1 overs at that stage broke the shackles after Malinga's miss as du Plessis in the company of opener Hashim Amla added 130 runs in the next 17.2 overs.
And when Imran Tahir trapped Chamara Kapugedera first ball, Sri Lanka had suddenly lost three wickets for 23 runs.
South Africa's second-wicket pair steadily picked up the pace thereafter and it took a fine catch from Dinesh Chandimal at midwicket to remove Du Plessis for 75, Pradeep claiming his second breakthrough. Left-hander J P Duminy did his bit in propelling the side with his quick-fire 20-ball 38 with five fours and a hit over the ropes.
Amla and David Miller put on a short but sweet rebuilding partnership, allowing Amla to bring up his century in the 42nd over, just turning one of his hip to square leg. A Mathews will not play today, Tharanga will replace him as a captain.
Upul Tharanga: The second most experienced batsman after Mathews is Tharanga and he is also looking confident ahead of the big clash against South Africa.
In case you are away from your television, you can watch South Africa vs Sri Lanka live streaming on Hotstar.com.
South Africa may have lost their one-day global series to England prior to the ICC Champions Trophy but AB de Villiers insists there are still reasons to be confident ahead of their tournament opener against Sri Lanka.
They will be reassured by the wicket-taking presence of Tahir, who managed to tweak his hamstring carrying out the gloves as 12th man as South Africa went 2-0 down in Southampton last weekend. "Sri Lanka have always done well in ICC tournaments, so we have that confidence", Tharanga said.