Maiden triple century of Hashim Amla lifts South Africa as England struggles for survival

South Africa first innings 637-2 declared (Hashim Amla 311*, Jacques Kallis 182*, Graeme Smith 131, James Anderson 1-116) leads England first innings 385 (Alastair Cook 115, Jonathan Trott 71, Morne Morkel 4-72) second innings 102-4 (Andrew Strauss 27, Kevin Pietersen 16, Vernon Philander 1-13) by 150 runs.

Hashim Amla became the first South African to hammer 300 runs in Test cricket and Jacques Kallis smashed a ton as South Africa anticipates winning the first Test.

England managed 385 runs in the first innings followed by 102 in their second with six wickets in hand and is striving hard to save the encounter.

Hashim-Amla - The first South African to score a tripple century as Jacques Kallis smashed 182*
Hashim-Amla – The first South African to score a tripple century as Jacques Kallis smashed 182*

South Africa amassed a mountainous 637 runs for the loss of two wickets before their skipper, Graeme Smith, declared the innings.

The fourth day’s play of the first Test concluded on Sunday, July 22, 2012, at Kennington Oval, London.

Earlier, South Africa initiated the play on day four at 2-403 in 135 overs, Hashim Amla was holding his end for 183 and Jacques Kallis was unbeaten on 82 runs. They had a slower start and added 21 runs in the first nine overs as Hashim Amla smashed 200 runs in the 145th over.

The run rate was picked up by the duo later on and Kallis achieved his 43rd Test ton on the fifth ball of the 154th over. The boundaries started flourishing from the blades of the two batsmen and the bowling attack of England looked ordinary. The 500 of the Proteas innings appeared on board on the last ball of the 162nd over with a four from Kallis.

Hashim Amla rushed to his 250 in the next over with a couple of fours and the score was taken to 514 without losing any further wicket at lunch. Jacques Kallis punished Stuart Broad for 3 fours in the 166th over and Amla crossed his previous best score by reaching 255 with a four in the following over. The previous highest score by the 29-year-old was unbeaten 253 runs vs. India on February 6, 2010, at Nagpur.

Andrew Strauss applied all tactics to separate the partnership but he remained unsuccessful as the batsmen continued enhancing the total while dispatching the ball out of the ropes regularly. Amla became the highest scorer in Test for South Africa in the 176th over on the second ball of the 176th over by reaching 281 runs with a four.

The previous best record was held by AB de Villiers when he dispatched unbeaten 278 runs against Pakistan on November 20, 2010, at Abu Dhabi. Kallis scored 150 in the 179th over and the sixth hundred of the Proteas innings came in the 183rd over. Hashim Amla hit a four on the last ball of the following over and registered his name in the history books while becoming the first South African batsman to pile up 300 runs.

Graeme Smith declared the first innings at tea interval for 637 after losing just two wickets in 189 overs. Hashim Amla was unbeaten for 311 off 529 balls with 35 fours and Jacques Kallis secured his end with 182 from 326 deliveries with 1 six and 23 fours.

England started their second innings with a first innings deficit of 252 runs. They lost their first wicket when Alastair Cook was caught behind smartly by the wicketkeeper de Villiers off Vernon Philander for a duck on the second ball of the second over. Jonathan Trott joined in next with Alastair Cook and added 30 runs for the second wicket before his catch was taken again by de Villiers off Dale Steyn for 10 runs.

The second wicket fell at 32 as Kevin Pietersen walked in the centre and initiated his innings with a single on the first ball he faced. He opened up in the 14th over by getting two boundaries as the smooth going Strauss got one four in the next over. Pietersen got a life when he was dropped on the fourth ball of the 16th over by Kallis in the second slip off Morne Morkel at 14 runs. The batsman was unable to utilise the chance and he was clean bowled by Morkel on the third ball of the 18th over as the total reached 57.

Andrew Strauss became the next victim when he was caught at square leg by Philander off Imran Tahir after the addition of 10 runs at his personal contribution of 27.  Ian Bell and Ravi Bopara joined together at the crease and started repair work without taking any risk. They took the score to 102 in 38 overs at stumps on day four. England was still trailing by 150 runs as Bell and Bopara were unbeaten on 14 and 15 runs respectively.

Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn and Imran Tahir shared one wicket each.

South Africa is on the driving seat and looks like winning the first Test as England will anticipate a miraculous batting from a couple of his batsmen or the rescue from the weather to save the match.


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