• Amla explains declaration

    Hashim Amla spoke of the strategy behind his declaration at the end of the second day’s play, while Stiaan van Zyl also faced the press after his hundred on debut.

    ‘We felt that we wanted to have about 35 overs at them and rather declare earlier than too late,’ Amla told a news conference after stumps had been called early due to a heavy shower.

    The time lost will be made up over the course of the Test as play will start 30 minutes earlier over the remaining three days. The Proteas skipper was not perturbed by the inclement weather and even went as far as saying that the interruption on day two might end up helping the hosts to win the test.

    ‘I feel the wicket flattened out, but maybe with the rain today, there might be some sweat under the covers and help us.

    ‘We were in a bit of trouble yesterday but we managed to find ways to fix it. We want to continue throwing the first punch,’ he added.

    Amla’s innings wrote his name into the history books, but the silent warrior was typically modest about his record-breaking knock.

    ‘I’m really happy to get some runs under my belt. I didn’t think about it being a special innings. The records come up on the board so you can’t miss them. They’re there to be broken so you can’t get sentimental.’

    Amla will rightfully receive most of the plaudits after becoming the first South African captain to score a double-hundred on home soil, the performance of 27-year-old Van Zyl should not be taken lightly. The left-hander looked very scratchy for his first few runs, but then showed the world what he’s capable of.

    ‘Initially I said to myself just get past 10. Then when I got to 50, I thought a hundred might be on,’ said the debutant after admitting that he had been a bundle of nerves heading in to the test.

    ‘I can’t describe it, but getting off that zero was such a crazy feeling,’ he added.

    Photo: Backpagepix

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