Amla leads South Africa to share of England series
07 September, 2012
NOTTINGHAM: Hashim Amla piled on the runs once again as he led South Africa to a series-levelling seven-wicket win in the fifth and final one-day international against England at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.
South Africa, chasing a modest 183 for victory, collapsed to 14 for three inside five overs under the floodlights in this day/night fixture.
But opener Amla responded with a superb 97 not out and, together with Proteas captain AB de Villiers (75 not out) he shared an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 172 that put England's meagre total of 182 in its proper context. Victory, with more than 15 overs to spare, saw South Africa share the series at 2-2. Amla was named man of the series for a total of 335 runs in four innings at an average of more than 111. That followed on from his corresponding award in the Proteas' 2-0 Test series win over England where he scored a South Africa record 311 not out at The Oval. Amla's combined tally for both series was a colossal 817 runs at 116.71.
Amla could only watch as the Proteas slumped at the start of their reply. Left-hander Graeme Smith fell when he edged Jade Dernbach and James Tredwell held on at the second attempt. International novices Faf du Plessis and Dean Elgar then both nicked excellent James Anderson deliveries to wicket-keeper Craig Kieswetter. But de Villiers then pulled two successive short balls from South Africa-born seamer Dernbach for four. Amla eased paceman Chris Woakes off the backfoot for a typically stylish four through the covers. He then completed a 63 ball-fifty, with de Villiers taking just 54 balls to get to the landmark. Amla drove off-spinner Tredwell over extra-cover for six and ended the match with a wristy flicked boundary off Dernbach.
Earlier, left-arm spinner Robin Peterson took three for 37 after enterprisingly being given the new ball by de Villiers as England failed with the bat. Only Cook, Kieswetter (33) and recalled paceman Chris Woakes, with a career-best 33 not out, got past 30. Peterson had in-form opener Ian Bell lbw for 10 while Ravi Bopara, promoted up the order in Trott's absence despite a run of low scores, and Eoin Morgan both exited for ducks. Left-handed opener Cook completed a 69-ball fifty but fell meekly when he chipped a return catch to part-time spinner du Plessis.