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De Villiers, Amla bury the Dutch

MOHALI, March 3 – AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla smashed centuries against the hapless Netherlands bowlers on Thursday to set up a thumping 231-run win for South Africa.

De Villiers scored 134 for a second successive ton while opener Amla made 113 as the Proteas posted a mammoth 351-5 before dismissing the Dutch for a paltry 120 for their second consecutive win in Group B.

The Netherlands lost wickets at regular intervals against South Africa’s disciplined pace-spin combination before being bowled out in the 35th over, slumping to their third consecutive defeat.

Seamer Jacques Kallis rattled the top order with two wickets before Pakistan-born leg-spinner Imran Tahir (3-19) and left-arm spinner Robin Peterson (2-22) did more damage.

Wesley Barresi, dropped on 21 by Morne Morkel at mid-on off Kallis, top-scored with 44 in a dismal Netherlands batting performance.

"It wasn’t easy up front. There was a little bit of juice in the wicket," said South African skipper Graeme Smith, praising Amla and de Villiers.

"Once we set the platform it was about making it count and the two of them definitely did that."

Losing captain Peter Borren said such a thumping defeat was hard to take but his side were still learning by playing against the top sides.

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"I think we learn more from playing against this type of opposition… than playing against each other as associates," he said.

In the South African innings de Villiers and Amla dominated the Dutch attack after South Africa were put in to bat in overcast conditions before a few thousand spectators in Mohali.

The Proteas lost Smith (20) and Kallis (two) to slip to 58-2 before de Villiers and Amla put on 221, South Africa’s best for the third wicket in a World Cup.

De Villiers raced to his 11th one-day hundred off just 88 deliveries, while Amla completed his eighth ton off 121 balls.

Amla impressed with his shot selection, patiently waiting for loose deliveries to punish, but de Villiers was more aggressive, once reverse-sweeping spinner Tom Cooper for a boundary.

They set the stage for the final onslaught, which saw South Africa plunder 136 in the last 10 overs. JP Duminy hammered 40 off just 15 balls with four sixes and two fours.

De Villiers, who scored an unbeaten century in the previous match against the West Indies, smashed seamer Bernard Loots for three successive sixes before hitting Ryan ten Doeschate for three fours in a row.

Amla hit eight fours in his 130-ball knock before being caught at point off ten Doeschate and de Villiers was run out after striking four sixes and 13 fours in a 98-ball innings.

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