Hashim Amla scored his 24th Test hundred.
Hashim Amla roared back to form with a masterly century while AB de Villiers continued his consistent run by scoring his 39th fifty as they joined an elite club on the third day of the second Test against England. (Scorecard)
Amla’s century helped him get past 7000 runs while De Villiers’ fifty helped him get past 8000 runs. Amla’s ton was his fifth against England and it broke a lean patch of 15 innings where he had not scored a century. On the other hand, de Villiers looked scratchy but missed out on a century when he was caught by James Anderson off Steven Finn for 88 at midwicket.
De Villiers has become the third-highest run-getter for South Africa in Tests, behind Jacques Kallis with 13206 runs in 165 matches and Graeme Smith with 9253 runs in 116 games. Amla is fifth on the list, with Gary Kirsten ahead of him with 7289 runs in 101 Tests.
Amla’s century will give him tremendous relief after a torrid 2015, where he scored just 251 runs at a miserable average of 22.81 with just one fifty. De Villiers, meanwhile, enjoyed a decent year scoring 492 runs at an average of 49.20 with two fifties and a century.
South Africa’s confidence is rock bottom after losing the series against India 0-3 and the first Test in Durban by 241 runs. In Cape Town, they had their backs to the wall when England hammered 629/6 declared thanks to a monumental 258 by Ben Stokes and a maiden century from Jonny Bairstow.
The performances of Amla and de Villiers and their 183-run stand has given South Africa something to cheer and they will be hoping that they can save this Test and the series.