Pakistan v SA

Amla – We need to be better

2010-11-04 11:46
Hashim Amla (Gallo Images)
Eduan Roos

Dubai – His sixth century in ODI cricket on Monday night against Pakistan was "One of the best" of his career, but Hashim Amla knows he will have to do even better if the South Africans want to win the last two matches and the series.

Amla stood alone with an unbeaten 119 runs against a pacy Shoaib Akhtar, while his team-mates kept walking the path between the changing room and the crease.

The innings enabled the visitors to reach 228/9 on a wicket that was on the slow side and carried some uneven bounce.

"Under the circumstances it was definitely one of my best innings, because right from the first or second delivery I saw that the ball was coming on a lot slower than I expected and that it also remained low," said Amla. "I decided to limit my batting a little and rather score as many singles as possible." He made 62 of those.

"Fortunately Graeme (Smith, the injured Proteas captain) regularly brought drinks onto the field and gave me advice, because I'm still rather inexperienced in one day cricket and with every innings I learn more about my game."

Amla believes the South African batsmen will have to improve before Thursday's game. A victory will mean a series win for the tourists, after also winning the Twenty20 series.

"We play the last two games on the same wicket and it will only become slower and lower," he said. "Adaptability is the key."

Meanwhile Johan Botha took a swipe at Pakistani TV referee Zaamer Haider, who upset the South African innings by inexplicably giving AB de Villiers out stumped while he and Amla were busy building a strong partnership.

"It's never nice to see something like that, especially when it is one of your most important batsmen," said Botha.

Botha, though, was impressed with Rusty Theron's death bowling, taking on the tourists when Pakistan needed 12 runs in the last of their 50 overs.

"I have to admit that I immediately thought back to the last match in Abu Dhabi when we couldn't defend 14 off the last over," said Botha.

"This time I knew, however, that Rusty would come through for us. He always wants to bowl the last over and has been doing that for years for the Warriors.

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