Hashim Amla overcame his run of poor form in grand style and made his 100th Test memorable. On day 1 of the third Test against Sri Lanka in Johannesburg, Amla, who became the seventh South African player to reach this mark, joined a prestigious club as he notched up his 26th Test century. (SCORECARD)
During the course of his century, Amla became only the eighth batsman in Test history to score a hundred while playing in their 100th match. He became only the second South African batsman to score a century in his 100th Test after former skipper Graeme Smith, who achieved the feat in 2012 in the Oval Test against England. Incidentally, in that match, Amla had become the first South African player to score a triple century in Tests.
Amla, who had gone 10 innings without a fifty and had not scored a century since January 2016, played magnificently and shared a record 292-run stand with JP Duminy, who slammed his sixth Test century. This partnership was the best for any wicket for South Africa in Tests against Sri Lanka and it rescued them from a slow start in which they were reduced to 45/2.
Duminy slammed 155 but he fell in the penultimate over of the day as South Africa ended day one on 338/3.
The right-hander’s 26th Test century put him third in the all-time list for South Africa’s batsman. Jacques Kallis, with 45 tons and Smith, with 27 are on top of the century makers for South Africa in Tests.
Colin Cowdrey of England became the first batsman to score a hundred in his 100th Test when he achieved the feat against Australia in Birmingham in July 1968. Ricky Ponting is the only cricketer to slam a century in each innings of his 100th Test and he secured this record during the Sydney Test against South Africa in January 2006.
South Africa currently lead the three-Test series 2-0 against Sri Lanka and are aiming for a whitewash.