Cape Town - Hashim Amla gets involved in double-century partnerships at one-day international level as if for fun.
His durability, patience and perseverance at the crease in all forms of cricket are already legendary and, with more than a little help from his similarly prolific Proteas opening partner Quinton de Kock on Sunday, the veteran simply participated in another 200-plus stand as Bangladesh were slaughtered by 10 wickets with more than seven overs to spare in the first ODI at Kimberley.
If only the embattled Tigers posted had posted just a few runs more than their 278 for seven - insufficient on a sun-baked belter of a track - then the SA duo (an unbeaten 282 when the contest ended) would almost certainly have bettered the global ODI record for the first wicket.
The landmark instead stays very narrowly in the hands of Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga: 286 against England at Leeds in 2006, with Amla and De Kock now sitting in joint-third for an opening alliance, and joint-sixth worldwide for any wicket in the format.
It was the second time that Amla and his more youthful, left-handed partner upfront have put on 200 runs or more in an ODI; the first was 239 against England at Centurion in the 2015/16 season.
Amla, 34 years old and in a rich vein of renewed form this summer, can also now boast (albeit that that is hardly an apt word to describe his humble personality) involvement in six of the best seven stands for any wicket by South Africa in ODIs, and seven of the top 10, all of them involving 200 runs or more.
The only ones among the best 10 in which he has played no part are the second-best one (David Miller/JP Duminy, 256 for fifth wicket v Zimbabwe, Hamilton, 2015), the eighth-best (Gary Kirsten/Herschelle Gibbs, 235 for first wicket v India, Kochi, 2000) and ninth-best (Daryll Cullinan/Jonty Rhodes, 232 for fourth wicket v Pakistan, Nairobi, 1996).
Here is the full list of his own, seven-strong contribution to SA’s 10 best stands in the 50-overs format, from highest down:
*282 with Quinton de Kock for first wicket v Bangladesh, Kimberley, Sunday
*247 with Rilee Rossouw for first wicket v West Indies, Johannesburg, 2015
*247 with Rilee Rossouw for third wicket v West Indies, Centurion, 2015
*247 with Faf du Plessis for second wicket v Ireland, Canberra, 2015
*239 with Quinton de Kock for first wicket v England, Centurion, 2016
*238 with AB de Villiers for third wicket v Pakistan, Johannesburg, 2013
*221 with AB de Villiers for third wicket v Netherlands, Mohali, 2011.
Amla has made the most riotous of starts to his 2017/18 campaign in South Africa at all levels of cricket.
If you pull together his runs from two Tests against the Bangladeshis, one ODI against those foes and one Sunfoil Series appearance for the Cobras, he has accumulated 652 runs from six innings (one not out) at an average of 130.4.
That embraces Sunday’s 110 not out (his 26th ODI ton), 132 in the Bloemfontein Test, 137 and 28 in the Potchefstroom Test, and 56 and 189 - the latter a match-saving, eight-hour vigil - in the first-class game for his franchise against the Knights.
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