HOPE: Hashim Amla is focused
Hashim Amla and Imran Tahir are the two Proteas manne heading into the ICC Champions Trophy next month in England with a bietjie form in limited-overs cricket after both enjoyed good spells in the Indian Premier League.

Playing in his first IPL for the Kings XI Punjab, the bearded Amla took to the T20 competition like a duck to water by scoring 420 runs at an average of 60.00 in the 10 matches that he played.

It included two centuries and as many 50s, while Tahir picked up 18 wickets in 12 matches for the Pune Rising Supergiants.

All the Proteas manne have now pulled out of the tournament in order to be prepared for the ICC showpiece and Amla has left the tournament as the fifth top runs scorer while Tahir finished second best in the wicket-taking charts.

Coach Russell Domingo will be happy with the pair’s performances in the tournament, while the form of Chris Morris will also be encouraging after the allrounder scored 154 runs and took 12 wicket for the Delhi Daredevils.

Morris played nine games for the Daredevils, but the Titans yster was one of the most influential players by leading the wicket-taker ranks for most of the tournament and he also dropped a paar jaws when he klapped an unbeaten 38 off just nine balls against Tahir’s span.

That knocked included three sixes and four fours and it came just weeks after he moered six sixes in an unbeaten 48 against the Warriors in the final of the 1Day Cup.

The trio of Morris, Amla and Tahir could be important players for the Proteas in England while there will be a lot of attention on superstar players such as AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis and Kagiso Rabada.

On the 24th of this month the Proteas will get their preparations truly under way when they face England in the first of five ODIs with two warm-up games being played before that.

Big totals and quick wickets will be needed in England if the Proteas are to finally live up to their favourites tag and lift some silverware come August as the Aussies and England also enter the tournament in good form.

David Warner has been scoring runs for fun in the IPL while England will be coming into the tournament fully fit after a series victory over Ireland before the first Champions Trophy is bowled on 1 June.