Hashim Amla scores gritty half-century to keep India at bay in third Test
Hashim Amla lived up to the expectations of leading the fightback on a tough Wanderers pitch, scoring his 37th Test half-century to keep the hosts in the final Test.cricket Updated: Jan 26, 2018 09:55 IST
Hashim Amla rode his luck and seven boundaries to reach his 37th Test fifty, on the second day of the third Test here on Thursday. He lived up to the expectations of leading the fightback on a tough pitch, taking 98 deliveries to reach his fifty. (IND v SA updates)
Had it not it been for Amla’s patient batting, the South African cricket team would have been in trouble earlier than they were when he reached his fifty. (IND v SA scorecard)
Amla came at the fall of Dean Elgar when the ball was zipping off the pitch. More orthodox than the rest of the batting line-up, Amla naturally took his time to open up as nightwatchman Kagiso Rabada went about spoiling the Indian cricket team’s plans with his free-flowing shots.
Amla was allowed to quietly settle in, leaving the balls outside off-stump and flicking anything that came on to his pads. But Amla’s stay was comparatively scratchier than Rabada. And India had at least three genuine chances to dismiss him at different junctures.
An incomplete pull off Bumrah could have spelt danger for him but the edge flew over the slips to give Amla his first boundary.
But he probably had a closer shave when Ishant trapped him leg-before with the leg-stump visible in replays. After Virat Kohli asked for a review, the ball tracker showed it to be umpire’s call for height.
Seven overs later, Amla was again trapped leg-before, this time by Bhuvneshwar but the umpire wasn’t convinced. On reviewing it, the ball tracker showed impact just above the knee-roll and so the decision stayed with the umpire.
Next time when Bhuvneshwar and Amla were again at crossroads, umpire Ian Gould almost looked like giving him out on second thoughts but this time Amla reviewed it to save himself.
Reprieves tend to take the attention off the hard work put in by a batsman. This wasn’t an Amla classic but by putting a price on his wicket and going across the stumps to meet the ball’s line, he tried to keep errors to a minimum. Brisk running between the wickets and seven boundaries ensured he kept up his scoring too.