Amla helps South Africa take a huge lead
by Jinu Sabastian

Ground:Centurion Park, Centurion
Scorecard:South Africa v England
Player:MV Boucher, AB de Villiers, HM Amla
Event:England in South Africa 2009/10

DateLine: 19th December 2009


Hashim Amla starred with the bat for South Africa as he scored a well made century to help South Africa take a considerable lead against England and he was well supported by de Villiers and Mark Boucher. South Africa then plucked out the wicket of Strauss to put England under immense pressure.


Earlier in the day South Africa were off to a horror start as they lost nightwatchman Paul Harris (11) and Graeme Smith (12) early. Harris moved far across his stumps only to find his leg stump pegged back by an Anderson delivery while Smith was beaten by one that kept low from Onions. Amla and Kallis tried to get things moving but a superb spell from the English bowlers rendered the host's batsmen scoreless for long period of time. Swann and Broad tied up the batsmen with some accurate bowling and finally that brought the downfall of Kallis. Kallis whose 4 runs took 32 balls hooked a short one from Broad but found Cook at deep square-leg as South Africa slipped to 46 for 4. Amla and de Villiers then set about repairing the innings and of the two the latter showed some aggression thus relieving pressure of Amla.


None of the English bowlers could disturb the pair in the middle as the duo added 119 runs in 34.1 overs before Bell at short cover snapped up a low sharp catch to send back de Villiers for a well made 64. Duminy did not find the going easy as Anderson trapped the elegant left-hander leg before for a laborious 11. Just when it seemed that England were clawing back into the match Amla found an able ally in Mark Boucher. The pair blended caution with aggression perfectly as they put the English bowlers under immense pressure with regular boundaries. Amla soon reached a well paced in 210 balls as the South African lead stretched beyond the grasp of English team.


Finally Strauss took the new ball when it was available and immediately the English team got a break through though it was due to the vagaries of the pitch. Amla (100) got one that kept very low which detonated his off stump. Broad continued to dish out rubbish as he bowled short at Morkel who went about pulling with glee thus putting of the all-rounder. With a lead of 363 in the kitty, Smith declared the innings leaving England a minimum of six overs to face.


England suffered an unfortunate jolt when skipper Strauss (1) feathered a faint edge through to Boucher. Cook (4) and Anderson (6) then ensured that no more wickets fell as England finished the day at 11 for 1.


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