JP Duminy produced one his greatest innings, his sixth hundred in 42 Tests, but Amla’s 100 in his 100th Test is our Play of the Day.
Amla has played some pressured innings in his time, and given some brilliant displays. But this one came at a time of great stress. Not only was it his 100th Test, but he was scratching for runs and had not hit a fifty for 10 innings, a shocking statistic which speaks more to the expectation he has created with his understated excellence.
He was dropped by De Silva in the gulley off Suranga Lakmal when on five – a flat foot drive – and two balls later chopped one through his legs past his stumps.
He went in to lunch on six off 24 balls wondering what would come next. Just 145 balls later, he was celebrating in his usual quiet way, with a hug from Duminy. He had smashed 14 fours in that 100. His first fifty came off 109 balls (7×4); the second fifty off 60 balls (6×4). He ended the day unbeaten on 125.
Only seven other players have achieved this feat, the last being Graeme Smith. Except his hundred in his 100th Test wasn’t for South Africa. Test statistics were messed up when they awarded Test status to the World XI match he captained against Australia in 2005. So while it was his 100th Test, it was his 99th Test for South Africa. His 100th Test came at Leeds.
Hundred in 100th Test:
MC Cowdrey 104, England v Australia 1968
Javad Miandad 145 Pakistan v India 1989
CG Greenidge 149 West Indies v England 1990
AJ Stewart 105 England v West indies 2000
Inzamam-ul-Haq 184 Pakistan v Indian, 2005
RT Ponting, 120 & 143 Australia v South Africa 2006
GC Smith 131 South Africa v England 2012