Pakistan v SA

Amla ton sets up SA victory

2010-11-02 21:36
Hashim Amla (Gallo Images)
Dubai - Hashim Amla batted right through the South African innings to set up the Proteas for a two run victory over Pakistan in the third ODI at Dubai on Tuesday.


It is a result that gives the Proteas a 2-1 lead in the five-match series with the next match due to be played at the same venue on Friday.

Amla finished with an unbeaten 119 off 126 balls and hit 9 of the only 12 boundaries scored in the South African innings.

Amla’s sixth ODI century was easily the most invaluable of his career. It represented more than 50% of the Proteas’ total and the fact that he only scored 9 boundaries on a slow pitch and with a slow outfield was indicative of how hard he had to work for his runs.

His innings was a lesson to some of his team mates of how to play on this type of surface.

He also reached a number of important landmarks along the way. He is now more than 100 runs ahead of Sri Lanka’s Tillekeratne Dilshan as the leading ODI runs scorer in the world this year and is closing in on the 1 000 mark.

He has also taken his career ODI average beyond 60 which is far and away the best in the history of the game for players from the major countries.

Only Cape Town-born Ryan ten Doeschate of the Netherlands has done better.

This was his 5th century in the current calendar year which is only one shy of Gary Kirsten’s South African record. Kirsten achieved that in 1996 and played 29 matches compared with the 13 matches that Amla has played this year.

There was not a lot to the rest of the batting although AB de Villiers (42 for the third wicket) and JP Duminy (59 for the fourth wicket) were involved in reasonable partnerships.

Shoaib Akhtar was a superb spearhead of the Pakistan attack, finishing with 3/39 from his 10 overs. He was certainly not flattered by this return. He troubled even Amla with his ability to get the ball to lift awkwardly at times although significantly all his wickets came with reasonably full length deliveries.

Mohammed Hafeez also pegged the Proteas down to take two wickets while Wahab Riaz once again impressed with his reverse swing at the death.

The Pakistan outcricket was the best it has been for some time and there is no doubt the match-winning heroics of Abdul Razzaq at Abu Dhabi has awoken a sleeping giant.

The Proteas will again be concerned with their death bowling which came up short for the second match in a row.

They had Pakistan needing 81 off 54 balls with both the big hitters, Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq, back in the pavilion.

But Pakistan found a man for the moment in Fawad Alam who finished unbeaten on 59 off 67 balls. Had he been on strike at the end of the match Pakistan would probably have won.

The Proteas also dropped a couple of critical catches.

Morne Morkel finished with 4/47 to give him his 50th ODI wicket while Lonwabo Tsotsobe again excelled, finishing with 1/28 in his 10 overs.

Read more on:    pvp  |  hashim amla  |  proteas

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