Proteas in England

Basics key to Amla's success

2012-08-28 23:07
Hashim Amla (AP)

Southampton - South Africa became the world's top-ranked team in all three forms of cricket after Hashim Amla's 150 led the Proteas to an 80-run thrashing of England in the second one-day international here on Tuesday.

South Africa replaced England as the top ODI team after the hosts collapsed to 207 all out, chasing South Africa's 287-5 at the Rose Bowl.

The Proteas are now top in all three formats - the first team to achieve this feat. They only need to draw this series to cement their new-found status, while England must win it to remain in pole position in the 50-over format.

Amla became the fastest player in history to reach 3 000 one-day international runs. He reached the landmark in 57 innings compared to the 69 it took the West Indies' Vivian Richards, one of cricket's all-time great batsmen.

"Things have just fallen into place," Amla said after his highest ever ODI innings. "Things have stacked up correctly for me and an element of fortune's got to go your way. Fortunately, I've just tried to stick to the basics and things have worked out."

Skipper AB De Villiers added: "Amla is on fire at the moment and breaking lots of records. As a team we are very proud of him.

"I hope he can continue like this for many years to come. We are proud to be No 1 in the world and we are working towards an ultimate goal of winning the World Cup."

Six of South Africa bowlers took at least one wicket, with Morné Morkel claiming the best figures of 2-29. Samit Patel and Ian Bell were England's top scorers with 45 each.

In an elegant 124-ball knock that included 10 fours, Amla was dropped by England wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter on 42 and 92, and England captain Alastair Cook acknowledged that poor fielding had again scuppered his side.

"You can't give good players chances like we are doing," Cook said. "This summer we seem to have done it quite a lot. They're just not sticking at the moment."

South Africa's next highest scorer was Graeme Smith, who made 52 from 76 balls with five fours.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, South Africa made a steady if unspectacular start. Smith reached his 46th ODI half-century in the 18th over, but England responded by taking the bowling powerplay and removing Smith two overs later.

Smith tried to swat Bresnan through midwicket, but got a top edge and fell to a running catch by Kieswetter.

Kieswetter then missed a sharp chance when Amla got a thin edge from Samit Patel, and England used up their referral on an lbw shout from James Anderson against JP Duminy that pitched outside leg stump.

Amla reached his 50 with a glanced single from Patel, but was then at least partly to blame for running out Duminy for 14.

Thinking he'd driven Swann past Anderson at midwicket, Amla tore down the wicket, only to see Anderson gather the ball and smartly whip it to Kieswetter, leaving Duminy stranded.

Dean Elgar, playing his first ODI innings, was bowled by Swann for 15 before Amla was dropped for a second time when Kieswetter failed to hold a one-handed chance off Finn.

Amla, who made scores of 311 not out and 121 after being dropped by England during the recent Test series, responded by bringing up his century from 96 balls in the 41st over.

England's frustration mounted when De Villiers appeared to be caught behind off a bottom edge off Swann in the next over, the hosts being unable to refer umpire Simon Taufel's not out decision.

Swann bowled De Villiers for 28 when he tried to charge down the wicket in the 44th over.

Amla passed his previous ODI best of 140 - against Bangladesh in 2008 - in the penultimate over. In the final over, he cut Finn for four to reach 150 but was caught off the next ball by Tim Bresnan at short third man.

England's reply got off to a disastrous start when captain Alastair Cook was out on the second ball of the innings for a duck, his off stump ripped out by an in-swinger from Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

Jonathan Trott was then removed for 23 by a brilliant diving catch from Elgar. Trott tried to paddle Morkel through to third man, but got a top edge that Elgar just held with his left hand as he crashed to the turf.

Bell looked well set until he was bowled by Robin Peterson for 45 and Ravi Bopara squandered a promising start when he hit a poor delivery from the same bowler straight to Faf du Plessis at cover when on 16.

Kieswetter hit the first six of the match when he smashed Duminy over long-on, but was out for 20 when a delivery from Elgar brushed the back of his bat and looped off De Villiers's arm to Smith at first slip.

England's slim hopes effectively ended when Eoin Morgan pulled Duminy to midwicket for 27.

Bresnan was out for a duck four balls later, caught behind to Wayne Parnell, and Swann faced two deliveries before he went for 0 in almost identical fashion, wafting Parnell straight to De Villiers.

Anderson was run out for 5 and, despite a defiant last wicket stand of 37 by Patel and Finn, an emphatic win was sealed when Patel was caught behind.

The third ODI is at the Oval on Friday.

List of 10 fastest players to 3 000 ODI runs, in terms of innings (player, country/team, number of innings):

Hashim Amla (RSA) 57
Vivian Richards (WIS) 69
Gordon Greenidge (WIS) 72
Gary Kirsten (RSA) 72
Virat Kohli (IND) 72
Graham Gooch (ENG) 77
Kevin Pietersen (ENG/ICC) 78
Navjot Singh Sidhu (IND) 79
Brian Lara (WIS) 79
Boeta Dippenaar (RSA) 79

Read more on:    proteas  |  proteas in england  |  hashim amla  |  cricket
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