Amla masterclass puts South Africa top of ODI world

South Africa 287-5 England 207 (SA win by 80 runs): Captain Cook admits England were outplayed in all areas as long winning run ends with loss of No 1 one-day international ranking

This has been Hashim Amla's summer. The weather might have been constantly awful but nothing has rained on his parade.

His first innings for South Africa in the one-day series against England was simply an extension of the time of his life he was having in the Test matches. After scoring triple and mere single hundreds in his side's conclusive 2-0 series victory in the longer game, he added a sublime 150 yesterday at Southampton as a perfect complement.

It put the match out of England's reach, allowed the tourists to go ahead in the NatWest tourney and move to top place in the ICC rankings in all forms of cricket – Tests, one-dayers and Twenty20.

They are some team, winning this by 80 runs, showing the sort of hard-headed discipline and pizzazz that has been their forte since they arrived, and with three 50-over matches left they will not be easily caught. All tour, they have been the superior side playing the better cricket, with their opponents vainly trying to hang on to their coat tails.

England's response was occasionally worthy but they paid too little regard to preserving their wickets. The loss of five before the midway point of their reply converted their task from improbable to impossible. A scintillating 10th wicket partnership of 37 off 18 balls between Samit Patel and Steve Finn was designed only to stop the crowd storming the departure gates. England were dismissed for 207 in 40.4 overs.

The record-equalling run of 11 games without defeat under Alastair Cook this year was thus brought to a shuddering halt. It is hard to escape the feeling that their every move is being stalked by the player who is with them no longer, Kevin Pietersen, whose blazing century for Surrey yesterday only prolongs the whole sorry saga.

Cook said: "We just didn't play well enough in all three aspects. We were up with the rate but we just didn't build that partnership. It was gettable – and the reason we have had a really good 2012 is because people have got in and gone on.

"We've got three games to bounce back. But against Pakistan we lost the Test series and turned it round in the one-dayers. We've got to look at ourselves and stand up and be counted."

Cook praised the contribution of Amla, and said: "They are playing some good cricket and a lot of credit must go to them, especially Amla.

"His innings showed us how to play. He's in fantastic form. It's frustrating as a captain but he played beautifully. But our dropped catches are slightly disappointing ... they're not sticking at the moment. You can't give good players chances like we are doing."

Some time England had to lose, but to lose in this fashion after such a long winning run was unexpected.

That was something Amla's innings was not. It took only 124 balls yet it was one of those that never seemed spectacular while it was being played. In this type of display, observers tend to look up at the scoreboard and wonder where all the runs came from. That probably included England.

Without ever seeming to hurry, Amla went along at around a run a ball from the start. He has a wonderful sense of where the gaps are and marvellous feel for placing the ball there.

"I didn't think I'd be achieving this," he said after being made man of the match. "It's an honour." Part of his trick is that he has no particular favourite shot, and if 60 per cent of his runs yesterday came on the leg side a high proportion of those were scored by moving across his stumps and flicking it with powerful wrists from outside off. But he was equally adept at using those wrists, which are snappier than Rice Krispies, to hit over the off-side.

He thus reached 3,000 runs in one-day internationals in his 57th innings, the quickest to the landmark by 12 innings, leaving Sir Viv Richards himself trailing. He was dropped twice, with the wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter at fault on both occasions. On 42 Amla faintly edged Patel, and if it kept low it could be said that Kieswetter rose too quickly. It should have been taken.

Fifty Amla runs later, he glanced down the leg side and Kieswetter, who normally has this kind of offering for breakfast, could not get his glove round it. Both mistakes were hugely costly, more of the poor catching that has dogged England in the field.

South Africa rode their luck in a solid start. Jimmy Anderson, as is his apparent lot in life, sent the ball past Graeme Smith's edge with regularity. But he is destined never to touch it and Smith eked out 52 runs, without much fluency. The rest played round Amla, with no partnership under 32.

To have had a hope of retaining their unbeaten sequence in 2012 England needed runs at the top of the order. At least when Cook was bowled second ball, playing round a full-length delivery, they recovered well. Ian Bell looked in prime form, while Jonathan Trott bedded in.

But when Trott flicked off his hip to be caught wonderfully by Dean Elgar running back at deep backward square leg, and Bell was beaten by a turning ball from Robin Peterson because he did not play forward far enough, the challenge grew tougher.

For a while, as Eoin Morgan took stock with Patel, the rate was within England's grasp. But one mistake was all it would take – and England proceeded to make several more.

 



Rose Bowl scoreboard

The Rose Bowl (Second ODI; first ODI rained off): South Africa beat England by 80 runs; South Africa won toss

South Africa

Runs/6s/4s/Bls/Min

G C Smith c K'tter b Bres' 52/0/5/76/77

H M Amla c Bresn' b Finn 150/0/16/124/204

J P Duminy run out 14/0/1/24/22

D Elgar b Swann 15/0/1/28/23

*†A B de Villiers b Swann 28/0/1/29/39

F du Plessis not out 22/0/2/19/29

W D Parnell not out 0/0/0/0/1

Extras (b1 lb4 w1): 6

Total (for 5, 50 overs): 287

Fall 1-89, 2-121, 3-165, 4-230, 5-285.

Did not bat R McLaren, R J Peterson, M Morkel, L L Tsotsobe.

Bowling J M Anderson 9-0-53-0, S T Finn 10-0-59-1, T T Bresnan 8-0-61-1, G P Swann 10-0-50-2, S R Patel 10-0-47-0, R S Bopara 3-0-12-0.

England

Runs/6s/4s/Bls/Min

*A N Cook b Tsotsobe 0/0/0/2/1

I R Bell b Peterson 45/0/5/41/74

I J L Trott c Elgar b Morkel 23/0/2/37/52

R S Bopara c du Pl' b Peter' 16/0/2/21/29

E J G Morgan c Elg' b Dum' 27/0/1/48/76

†C Kieswetter cSmith b Elg' 20/1/1/20/19

S R Patel c de Vill' b Morkel 45/2/3/51/74

T T Bresnan c de Vill' b Parn' 0/0/0/1/1

G P Swann c de Vill' b Parnell 0/0/0/2/1

J M Anderson run out 5/0/0/13/13

S T Finn not out 15/0/3/8/9

Extras (b3 lb7 w1) 11

Total (40.4 overs) 207

Fall 1-0, 2-64, 3-77, 4-90, 5-118, 6-159, 7-159, 8-159, 9-170.

Bowling L L Tsotsobe 6-0-29-1, R McLaren 7-1-31-0, M Morkel 5.4-0-29-2, W D Parnell 7-1-30-2, R J Peterson 9-0-51-2, J P Duminy 3-0-16-1, D Elgar 3-1-11-1.

Umpires R J Bailey and S J A Taufel.

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

News
people
News
people
Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes