Amla's double ton sinks India
by Jinu Sabastian

Ground:Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur
Scorecard:India v South Africa
Player:HM Amla, AB de Villiers, Z Khan
Event:South Africa in India 2009/10

DateLine: 7th February 2010


Hashim Amla scored an unbeaten double century as he helped the South Africans post a mammoth total of 558 for the loss of 6 wickets before Smith declared. The Indian bowlers were made to toil hard again and with an exception of a magnificent Zaheer Khan none of the bowlers looked like picking up wickets.


The South African overnight pair Kallis and Amla continued to build on the dominance over an insipid Indian side who looked bereft of any idea. Amla was fluent from the start while Kallis seemed to be bogged down though he never looked in any sort of discomfort. With Kallis not looking for runs Dhoni kept close-in fielders and finally that proved to be his undoing. Though Kallis survived a close leg-before of a luck-less Mishra. But it did not cost too much for the Indian side as Harbhajan removed Kallis (173, 351 balls, 2x6, 16x4) in the next over. The Indian off-spinner could have had Amla when the right-hander was on 149 but to the shock of many Murali Vijay at short-leg put down a simple catch.


Though the runs were not easy to come by Amla was willing to graft and when he played some gorgeous cover-drives he reminded many of a young Laxman. Wielding his bat like a paint brush Amla proceeded to paint the ground with some colourful beautiful awe-inspiring shots all round the ground. De Villiers (53, 88 balls, 5x4) were on look-out for quick runs from the onset as he pushed the run-rate up. He along with Amla added 108 in 27.5 as none of the Indian bowlers were able to create any sort of impression. Finally part-time off-spinner Sehwag ended de Villiers' innings as he was caught at backward point. Duminy (9, 25 balls, 1x4) never looked comfortable in the middle and Harbhajan Singh managed to win a leg before decision against the southpaw.


Amla meanwhile continued unperturbed as he got past the 200 run mark for the first time in his career. He then continued serenely towards the 250 mark without taking much risk while Boucher (39, 75 balls, 3x4) batted in his usual self with his busy ways at the crease. With the score on 558 for the loss of six wickets Smith declared his team's innings with Amla unbeaten on 253 facing 473 balls with 22 glorious hits to the fence.


The Indian openers had to face tricky four overs of play before stumps. Gambhir (12, 14 balls, 2x4) and Sehwag (9, 10 balls, 1x4) never looked in any sort of discomfort against the pace of Steyn and the bounce of Morkel as the duo helped India to 25 for no loss at the close of day's play


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