Hashim Amla scored a pair of fifties for the first time in an away Test for seven years, and that’s our Play of the Day.
It’s been an excellent match for Amla, who probably feels that he needed this. The first innings saw him become the fourth-quickest South African – and 20th overall – to score 8 000 Test runs. That was in his 78 which spearheaded South Africa’s 335.
Then, after England could only muster 205, Amla battled his way to 87, navigating a pitch that became more unpredictable with each over and charging down to the spinners at every opportunity.
Eventually that tactic proved the end of him as he missed a Liam Dawson delivery which straightened up and crashed on to his pads. A successful England review saw the end of him, but it was job well done from the 34-year-old. The last time he scored a pair of fifty-plus scores in a Test was against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in 2010, when he scored 80 and 118 not out.
For a player who had only scored fifty or more in two of his last 19 innings going into this match, it was a much-needed return to form for one of South Africa’s greatest and most experienced players.
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