Hashim Amla says the Proteas’ three-wicket win over Australia on Sunday was the perfect gift on the special occasion of his 100th ODI.
The Proteas Test captain became the 18th South African to reach the milestone during a six-year career decorated by impressive records and achievements.
‘When we bowled them (Australia) out for 150-odd we thought it was a good score to restrict them to and felt we were favourites to win,’ Amla said. ‘To scrap out to get that kind of victory, which was closer than we thought, was a lovely feeling, especially in my 100th game.’
Amla made his debut against Bangladesh in Chittagong in 2008 and, although many questioned his technique and temperament in the ODI format during his early days, he managed to silence the critics by becoming one of South Africa’s most successful limited overs batsmen.
‘It was quite hot, I think it was in Bangladesh and we won that game as well,’ he said of his debut. ‘Emotions were okay because I had played a few Test matches before so the international scene wasn’t too foreign for me.
‘When you first start off your mindset is about taking each game as it comes,’ he said. ‘I’m grateful to all my teammates over the years and to the current team, basically all those that I have played with before. It’s been a wonderful 100 matches I must admit.’
His contributions on and off the field have been lauded by his teammates and coaching staff. The silent warrior says that he doesn’t have any personal milestones in sight, but would like to leave a legacy within the Proteas setup.
‘We know that with any team, if the senior players can encourage the youngsters coming in to play at their best, and to give them an environment where they are comfortable and free to express themselves, that is one of the winning formulas,’ Amla said. ‘It’s been like that for a few years and as one of the senior players in the team I always try to continue with that path. We want to make sure that when we leave the team one day that the team we leave behind is a successful one, especially from a team culture perspective.’
Amla’s World ODI records include; fewest innings to 2000 runs (40), Fewest innings to 3000 runs (57), Fewest innings to 4000 runs (81), most runs after 100 ODI’s (4808) and also holds the highest South African 3rd wicket partnership of 238 against Pakistan with AB de Villiers.