Proteas to remain grounded

2014-12-17 20:33
Russell Domingo and Hashim Amla (AFP)
Pretoria - Despite an unbroken stand of 283 runs for a South African record fourth-wicket partnership between AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla on day one of the first Test against the West Indies in Centurion on Wednesday, Proteas coach Russell Domingo says his charges would stay grounded.

As it happened: Proteas v West Indies - Day 1

"By no means are we going to get carried away by today's performance," said Domingo after the day's play.

At stumps South Africa had amassed 340 for three after losing the toss and being sent in to bat.

Amla and De Villiers came together, with South Africa in trouble at 57 for three, and began steadily compiling a massive first innings score against the tourists.

While the close of play was indicative of the number-one Test outfit asserting their superiority over the eighth-ranked West Indies, Domingo said it took a special performance from his two batsmen to take the game away from the visitors.

"At 57 for three it didn't look like there was any gulf between the sides.

But in AB and Hash, they are the two very best batsmen in the world," said Domingo.

Their efforts beat the previous fourth-wicket record of 249 between Jacques Kallis and Gary Kirsten in the 2003/2004 season in Durban, also against the West Indies.

Amla ended unbeaten on 133 (242 balls, 17 fours) and De Villiers on 141 (211 balls, 15 fours, two sixes).

Shortly after tea, De Villiers brought up his 20th Test century, off 138 balls. Then it was the turn of Amla, who reached his 23rd ton in his first match as Test captain on home soil.

To compound the misery of the visitors, their best bowler on the day Kemar Roach was left seemingly injured after attempting to bowl his final ball of his 16th over.

He had to leave the field with what appeared to be a lower leg injury, after compiling figures of 2/52.

Jerome Taylor came into the attack to bowl the final ball of the over.

Team management later confirmed the player would go for a scan on his ankle, and they would assess his fitness on Thursday morning.

West Indies left arm quick Sheldon Cottrell claimed 1/74 and said he was hoping to have Roach back for day two.

"I'm very anxious to have Kemar back, just because of his experience, and to give me pointers," said Cottrell.

Cottrell said it had been tough bowling to De Villiers and Amla in full flight.

"They play spin and pace very well and it's their home ground, so it was really difficult bowling to them."

The tourists went wicketless in the final two sessions of the day, after grabbing the third South African wicket midway through the first period of play.

South Africa had cruised to 57 for no loss before the visitors made a triple strike.

Roach made the breakthrough to dismiss Alviro Petersen for 27.

Elgar departed shortly afterwards for 28, off a Cottrell delivery which he stroked straight to Marlon Samuels at gully.

Roach then struck again as Faf du Plessis was caught behind by wicketkeeper captain Denesh Ramdin for a duck.


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