Hashim Amla scored a gutsy 78 and surpassed 8 000 Test runs to earn the Play of the Day.
Amla’s innings on day one of the Test at Trent Bridge may be remembered for different reasons. The Proteas veteran came to the crease needing eight runs to reach the 8 000-mark. He became the 20th Test player to reach the milestone and only the fourth South African.
More importantly, Amla showed remarkable resolve to survive the first two sessions on day one. Stuart Broad and James Anderson beat Amla’s bat on numerous occasions, while Ben Stokes even managed to find the edge when the Proteas batsman was on 55. On the latter occasion, Alastair Cook put Amla down at first slip.
Amla had some luck in bowler-friendly conditions. And yet nobody should question his commitment to spending time at the crease.
Amla took 93 balls to reach his half-century. He and Quinton de Kock put on 113 runs for the fourth wicket. That partnership has set the Proteas up for a good first-innings total.
Amla perished shortly after tea when he miscued a hook shot and was caught at fine leg. While the manner of his dismissal was disappointing – and untimely, given that Faf du Plessis was relatively new to the crease – one cannot deny the importance of his contribution, nor the way he guided South Africa through a difficult period of the game.
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