Fri, Dec 19, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Amla double-ton has South Africa on top against West Indies


Hashim Amla fashioned a third double-ton for South Africa and Stiaan van Zyl clobbered an unbeaten century on debut against the West Indies as they declared on 5-552 at tea on day two of the first Test yesterday.

The tourists were spared a tough 20-minute spell in the middle following the South Africa declaration when the umpires decided to take an early interval as rain began to fall before their innings had started.

Amla showed all of his famous powers of concentration and stamina to bat for almost eight hours in compiling 208 from 371 balls, before he holed out to long-on off the bowling of left-arm spinner Suleiman Benn as the hosts tried to up the tempo.

The impressive Van Zyl, long tipped as an international cricketer, grabbed his moment by smashing 15 boundaries to end the innings on 101 not out from 130 balls, to become the fifth South Africa player to score a Test hundred on debut.

The 27-year-old Van Zyl was nearly out first ball, though, as he tickled a leg-side delivery from Benn that fell just short of leg slip.

He was then dropped on two by Kraigg Brathwaite in the same position off Benn again, but after that he grew in confidence with every run scored.

The only other wicket to fall in another dominant day for South Africa was A.B. de Villiers, for 152, when he became a first victim in the Test for the luckless Benn when a thick outside-edge was caught by Jermaine Blackwood at point.

His dismissal ended a record fourth-wicket stand in Tests for South Africa of 308, the partnership with Amla digging the side out of trouble on the first morning when the hosts lost three quick wickets to slip to 57-3.

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