During the first Test of South Africa’s 2012 tour of England, Hashim Amla became the first-ever Proteas player to reach a triple century in Test cricket, surpassing AB de Villiers’ record for the highest individual score by a South African in the format.
With the No 1 world ranking on the line, the series got under way at the Oval as England captain Andrew Strauss opted to bat first first.
The hosts posted 385 before they were dismissed, thanks to a century by opening batsman Alastair Cook, but Amla, Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis put the English bowlers to the sword when South Africa went out to bat.
Despite losing opener Alviro Pietersen fairly early, Amla and Smith steadied the ship in a massive 259-run partnership with both reaching three figures.
Smith eventually departed for a well-played 131 before Kallis strolled out to the middle and continued to kick on alongside Amla.
The pair would account for mammoth 377-run stand for the fourth wicket as the English bowlers simply had no answers to the batting onslaught.
Amla brought up his double ton before Kallis reached his century and presented the perfect platform for a massive score at the Oval.
Amla would tick on steadily before he first broke De Villiers’ record and then, despite being almost caught at cover in the process, became the first South Africa to reach 300 in a Test match.
Smith would declare the Proteas’ innings on 637-2 with Kallis on 182 not out and Amla on 311 not out.
England were in for a tough fight to get anything from the Test and only hoped to salvage a draw.
Brilliant bowling by Dale Steyn and Imran Tahir, though, dismissed England for only 240 as the Proteas claimed victory by an innings and 12 runs.
After a no result in the second Test, South Africa would go on to win the third encounter at Lord’s to become the new world No 1-ranked team.