Thursday 27 March 2008 

Amla Century As South Africa Continue To Dominate


South Africa 540 (Amla 159, McKenzie 94, Harbhajan Singh 5-164) v
India 82-0 (Sehwag 52no) in Chennai

Report by Aaron Kumar

Hashim Amla scored a fine century as South Africa continued to dominate the first Test against India on day two in Chennai with the tourists bowled out for 540. Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh picked up five wickets for 164 before Virender Sehwag and Wasim Jaffer advanced the Indian reply past 50 without loss with both men looking in good touch.

Sehwag was in sparkling form, and he remained not out on 52 from just 61 balls having hit six fours and a six over backward point early on in his innings. Jaffer scored a more sedate 25.

Resuming on 304 for four, Amla converted his 85 not out to 159 as South Africa only lost the wicket of AB De Villiers, caught behind off of Shanthakumaran Sreesanth for 44.

South Africa added 97 runs between lunch and tea, with Amla eventually departing, run out, after facing 262 balls and hitting 20 fours for his fourth Test century.

"It was a good wicket to bat on but they were the hottest conditions I've ever batted on, that was the most difficult challenge," Amla said after the game.

"It is always special to score a hundred in the sub-continent, it gives you a lot of confidence. It is a special moment because it came away from home."

More wickets followed for India but at the expense of runs as Mark Boucher (70) and Morne Morkel helped themselves to runs.

Morkel made a useful 35 before trying to work a ball from Harbhajan Singh straight down the ground he only succeeded in presenting him with the simplest of catches. Morkel's wicket left South Africa 520 for eight and gave Harbhajan his third wicket. Harbhajan's fourth wicket soon followed when he had Paul Harris (five) caught by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

He ended the innings when Dale Steyn skied him down the ground and he was safely caught by RP Singh for 15.

Neil McKenzie and Graeme Smith scored half-centuries on day one to put their side in control, although India are still confident they can eke out a first innings lead and put South Africa under pressure.

"We'll look to get a lead of around 50-100 runs and put pressure on them," Sehwag said.

"Everyone knows the Chennai wicket spins and bounces so it will be difficult to bat against Harbhajan and [Anil] Kumble."

� Cricket World 2008


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