Free Press Journal

Hashim Amla exits as South Africa grind Eng down


Nottingham : England finally saw the back of Hashim Amla but South Africa remained in a commanding position as they continued their bid for a series-levelling win in the second Test at Trent Bridge. At tea, the Proteas were 236 for four in their second innings — a lead of 366 runs — after Amla had fallen for 87.

Returning captain Faf du Plessis was 42 not out and Temba Bavuma unbeaten on 12. South Africa’s current total was already well above the highest ever score made to win in the fourth innings in 118 years of Test cricket at Trent Bridge — England’s 284 for six against New Zealand in 2004.

South Africa started the session on 160 for three, with Amla 61 not out and du Plessis four not out.

England bowled tightly but with South Africa having established a commanding position in the match, and so much time left in the game, there was no need for their fourth- wicket pair to take undue risks.

Amla and du Plessis, both renowned for their patience at the crease, were instead content to pick off the loose ball, with the captain cutting fast bowler Mark Wood and off-driving Stuart Broad for four apiece.

Meanwhile Amla’s trademark wristy flick off James Anderson gave him a boundary and he raised South Africa’s 200 with a delicate swept four against off-spinner Moeen Ali.

But closing in on what would have been his 27th Test century and seventh against England, Amla — who made 78 in the first innings — fell 13 short this time around.

Trying to whip left-arm spinner Liam Dawson, whom he’d earlier hit for a straight six to complete his fifty, Amla was struck on the pad as he went down the pitch.