In a bid to secure a draw for his side, South African skipper Hashim Amla, along with teammate AB de Villiers, put on a clinic of defensive batting on the fourth day of the fourth Test match against India in New Delhi on Sunday.
Faced with an unassailable victory target of 481 runs and his side’s dismissal for 121 in the first innings, the struggling Amla switched tactics and decided a “blockathon” was the best chance of survival.
On Monday, Amla continued to frustrate the hosts until Ravindra Jadeja came up with a beauty of a delivery to clean up his off stump. Amla ended with 25 off 244 deliveries, making it the slowest innings of 200 deliveries or more in the history of Test cricket, for matches where data is available.
Hashim Amla fails to score a half-century on the India tour. Nobody would have put a bet on this!— Saurabh Malhotra (@MalhotraSaurabh) December 7, 2015
One of the balls of the series from Jadeja produces the first breaktbrough #IndvsSA— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) December 7, 2015
The Proteas scored 72 runs off 72 overs on Sunday.
So slow was the pace of scoring that Amla got his first run off the 46th ball he faced, and later his third-wicket partnership with the usually attack-minded AB de Villiers got going only after 63 deliveries. De Villiers, one of the most destructive batsmen in the world currently, was also committed to the defensive approach, scoring 11 off 91 by stumps on Sunday.
South Africa scored just 35 runs in 34 overs between lunch and tea and 32 runs from 33 overs in the final session. They made just 49 runs in the first 50 overs, the least runs scored in the first 50 overs of a Test innings since 2002.
Not surprisingly, Twitter users had a lot to say, especially about Amla’s innings.
What is faster than Hashim Amla? Internet Explorer.— Ankur Mishra (@iAnkurMishra) December 6, 2015
SBI employee may pass a loan before Amla makes a fifty. #IndvsSA— Sagar (@sagarcasm) December 6, 2015
Is Hashim Amla Batting or Buffering???— whatistheprocess (@whatistheproces) December 6, 2015
Amla is King Leonidas fighting off hostile opponent's with their spinning sorcery on an evil alient pitch with just a wooden spoon. #IndvSA— cricBC (@cricBC) December 6, 2015
*Growth of Airtel 4G girl during Hashim Amla 's batting* pic.twitter.com/ETZiseJ5g2— Crime Master GoGo!!✊ (@BokaPandit) December 6, 2015
Watching paint dry, grass grow, and Amla's beard flow in the wind. Experiences spectators will take away from this day at the ground #IndvSA— cricBC (@cricBC) December 6, 2015
Amla: Revenge is a dish best served cold, bland, without spice or salt. #IndvSA— cricBC (@cricBC) December 6, 2015
Hashim Amla so slow that i watched Jodha Akbar twice.— अंकित जैन (@indiantweeter) December 6, 2015
STAT: Opposite of Aritel 4G Girl is Hashim Amla. #IndvsSA— उमर अब्दुल्लाह (@abdullah_0mar) December 6, 2015
Scene from the ground when Hashim Amla is batting. pic.twitter.com/6K4SOzBZrM— Spamnath Bharti (@attomeybharti) December 6, 2015
Kumbhkaran woke up while Hashim Amla was batting.— अंकित जैन (@indiantweeter) December 6, 2015
Hashim Amla is playing test cricket on EA sports professional mode.— Trendulkar (@Trendulkar) December 6, 2015
Hope Hashim Amla gets stuck in traffic for 4 hrs on his way from stadium to hotel without Internet to experience what he did to our bowlers.— Trendulkar (@Trendulkar) December 6, 2015
Looks like Hashim Amla was waiting for government of India to open his account in Jan Dhan Yojna #IndvsSA— Sunil (@akshaykanitkar) December 6, 2015
Proteas lose they next contestant on Survivor India. Hashim Amla is gone, 25 runs, 244 balls. SA 76/3 pic.twitter.com/Xtikt8dhKm— Ben Karpinski (@followthebounce) December 7, 2015