Cape Town - Hashim Alma emulated the performance of Neil McKenzie at
Chennai in 2008 by scoring a century and a 90 in the same Test match before
Kagiso Rabada moved on to the brink of a notable double on the fourth day of
the final Sunfoil Test match at SuperSport Park on Monday.
Amla (96 off 199 balls, 11 fours) didn’t just anchor the
South African second innings after Stephen Cook and AB de Villiers had been
dismissed in quick succession but batted through the pain barrier as he took
blows on both hands.
The value of his performance in this match can be seen in
the fact that he has been involved in the only two century partnerships – 202
with Cook in the first innings and 117 with Temba Bavuma in the second innings.
Bavuma finished unbeaten on 78 (154 balls, 9 fours and a
six) to take his average for the series to 49.5.
He enabled the Castle Lager Proteas to declare on 248/5 and
set England an improbable 382 for victory on a pitch of variable bounce and
By the close they were in serious trouble at 52/3 and it
could have been worse as Joe Root survived a stumping chance to Quinton de Kock
off the bowling of Dane Piedt.
Rabada took two of the three wickets to fall and thus has
nine in the match. One more will give him his first ten-fer haul and will also
make him the leading wicket-taker in the series as he is currently level on 18
with Stuart Broad and has played one match less.
If there have been major positives for the Proteas in spite
of the disappointment of the series defeat it has been the emergence of Rabada
and Bavuma as international cricketers of quality.
Another recent positive is that they have made almost 700
runs over their two innings in this match without AB de Villiers contributing
anything. It suggests that there is a lot more stability in the top order than
there has been in recent times and that there is no longer a reliance on one or