Amla fifty powers SA
Hashim Amla struck an unbeaten fifty to help South Africa to 145 for three in their second innings at stumps on the third day of the third test against England at Lord’s in London on Saturday.
Amla reached the close of play unbeaten on 57 off 98 balls with eight fours as the Proteas established a 139-run lead over their rivals.
England had earlier been bowled out for 315 in their first innings thanks to 95 off 196 balls with 13 fours from Jonny Bairstow with Morne Morkel capturing 4-80 and Dale Steyn nabbing 4-94.
South Africa had made a solid start to their innings thanks to a 46-run opening-stand between Graeme Smith (23) and Alviro Petersen (24).
But both men departed in quick succession, with Smith out leg-before to off-spinner Graeme Swann (1-38) while attempting a wild sweep shot while Petersen was also out leg-before trapped in front by a full, reverse-swinging delivery from Stuart Broad (1-38).
But Amla and Jacques Kallis soon wrested the initiative back in South Africa’s favour with a counter-attacking third-wicket partnership that produced 81 runs off 21.4 overs.
Kallis contributed 31 before he was out lbw to paceman Steven Finn (1-28) although Kallis did ask for the decision to be reviewed. However, replays showed no evidence of a nick and the on-field decision was upheld.
However, Amla continued on his way and he brought up his 24th test fifty off 95 balls shortly before the close with a superb straight drive for four off the bowling of Broad.
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Amla did receive a touch of luck as he was dropped down the leg side by keeper Matt Prior, who dived full length to his left before spilling the chance, when the batsman had scored just two.
Dale Steyn was sent in as nightwatchman and reached the close of play without scoring.
England, on a sweltering day in London, had been bowled out 47 minutes after lunch holding a slender first-innings lead of just six runs.
The hosts began the day on 208 for five with Bairstow and Matt Prior (27) at the crease but the advent of the second new ball, in the ninth over after the start of play, proved to be Prior’s undoing.
Prior drove expansively at the very first delivery with the second new ball, bowled by seamer Vernon Philander, only to edge an away-swinger to Kallis at second slip.
Broad (16) looked relatively comfortable at the crease but Steyn’s extra pace proved to be Broad’s undoing when the left-handed batsman could only fend a rib-high delivery straight to Amla at short leg.
Bairstow, who began the day on 72, had been frustrated by some accurate bowling and had faced 14 deliveries while on 95 but he eventually succumbed when he played around a full delivery from Morkel to narrowly miss out on a maiden test ton.
The post-lunch session began well for the tourists when Steyn had James Anderson (12) caught at point after Anderson fended a vicious short ball away from his head.
But Swann took the attack to South Africa’s bowlers with an entertaining 37 not out off 53 balls before the last-wicket stand was finally ended when Finn lobbed a Morkel delivery to JP Duminy at point.
Report Day 1
Report Day 2
ENGLAND – Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, James Taylor, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior (wk), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Steven Finn.
SOUTH AFRICA – Graeme Smith (capt), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers (wk), Jacques Rudolph, JP Duminy, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir.