Friday, January 30, 2009

Hashim Amla: South African Cricket Star Takes Host By Surprise

Hashim Amla

Hashim Amla seals series victory with a stylish 80 as S Africa controlls hosts

By Dr. Abdul Ruff

That South Africa sealed one-day triumph crushing the world champions Australia after the Test series win is still the major news in cricket world.South Africa is now all set to over take Australia as the world’s top most cricketers and already by convincingly winning both the third and fourth ODIs in Australia against the now world champions, South Africa has displayed their cricket power elegantly. As it stands now, South Africans have completed a magnificent Test and one-day double over Australia with an eight-wicket win in Adelaide January 26, 2009 at Adelaide Oval. What is more important is they won an ODI in the capital Sydney (3rd ODI) January 23, 2009 where as they could not win there in the Tests, and the fourth in Adelaide match went on remarkably well. Fourth one-day international, Adelaide : South Africa 223-2 (38.1 ovs) bt Australia 222 (48 ovs) by eight wkts.

It has been a great achievement by the South African team who now have won both the Test and ODI series. A tremendous feat indeed. So that's it for today. Hope you have enjoyed the coverage as much as i have in bringing it to you. Do join us for the last ODI in Perth on It has been a great achievement by the South African team who now has won both the Test and ODI series.

Another the more striking character of South African cricket is that even after keeping their captain the inspirer Smith, the South Africans could derive the same inspiration and win down the match series both the Test and ODIs. The valuable contribution made by Hashim Amla is astounding and note worthy here. Although the Australian bowlers focus on him, Amla managed to score the maximum number of runs. Even n the final ODI at Perth , Hashim Amla scored 97 the maximum.

South Africa capped a dream tour of Australia by winning the ODI series in addition to the Test series earlier but the hosts still retained their top spot in both forms of the game despite unmistakable signs that they are on the downslide. The South Africans crushed the Aussies by eight wickets in what turned out to be a lopsided floodlit contest to take an invincible 3-1 lead in the five-match series. Opting to bat first, Australia put up yet another sordid batting display and folded up for 222 in 48 overs with only Ricky Ponting (63), James Hopes (42) and Cameron White (30) salvaging some individual reputation with the bat. South Africa 's pace colleagues Makhaya Ntini (3/52) and Dale Steyn (3/49) did an excellent job with the new ball wrecking Australia 's top and middle order.

Chasing 223, South Africa needed 38.1 overs to overwhelm the target with Hashim Amla (80 not out), AB de Villiers (82 not out) and Herschelle Gibbs (36) starring in the chase. Australia remained the number one team in both forms of the game followed closely by South Africa and India , both of whom have beaten the Kangaroos in Test series in recent months. In One-dayers, Australia led the table with 126 points, followed by South Africa (123)

A rebuilding South Africa sealed a series victory over an Australian outfit struggling with the same phase during a dominating performance in Adelaide that earned a 3-1 lead. The tourists arrived last month hoping for some success against the world champions in the Test and one-day formats, but they will leave with commanding victories in each arena after wrapping up this five-match contest before Friday's final fixture in Perth .

Generally, the South Africans have outsmarted the world champions who of late play a sort of “joint cricket exercises” with India and help a few select Indians to score points, including the bowlers, enabling them for national awards and personal benefits. In the third ODI South Africa in Sydney on 23 January outclassed Australia with performances of HH Gibbs 64 from 52 balls and JH Kallis 60 from 72 runs.

The key masters of stroke, Hashim Amla (80) and AB de Villiers (82) and shared an unbroken stand of 144 as the tourists took a 3-1 lead in the one-day series, with one match to play. After losing the toss in Adelaide , the tourists ripped through the Australia batting line-up with Makhaya Ntini (3-52) and Dale Steyn (3-49) on song. Amla and de Villiers stitched together an unseparated 144 runs for the third wicket in 25.5 overs to seal the matter. Amla's crucial unbeaten 80 came off 103 balls with seven fours in it. de Villiers was the more aggressive of the duo and his unbeaten 82 came off 85 balls with six fours and a flat-batted six off David Hussey which also brought up his fifty.

Earlier, Ponting's decision to bat first boomeranged and Australia lost both its openers Shaun Marsh (13) and David Warner (1) inside three overs when the team score was 17. Australia expected another blitzkrieg from Warner but the youngster perished as early as in the second over, chipping Stey to Morne Morkel at mid-on. Marsh opened with three boundaries off Steyn before falling to Ntini, slicing it to Morkel, this time at third man. Only Ricky Ponting (63) and James Hopes (42) provided home resistance.

The commanding victory, on Australia Day at the picturesque Adelaide Oval, has heaped further problems on Ponting, who takes his beleaguered side to Perth for the final match of the five-game series on Friday. Should South Africa win at the Waca, they will usurp Australia at the top of the one-day team world rankings. Ponting won the toss and opted to utilise what looked like a flat batting surface to compile an intimidating total for his opponents.

The visitors have conquered much bigger totals than that this month and there was little to worry about once Gibbs determined to hit as many boundaries as possible. Hashim Amla was stylish as usual in a controlled 80 off 103 balls while AB de Villiers, who had stood in behind the stumps for Mark Boucher, sped towards 82 from 85 after starting calmly. The result came with 71 balls remaining and South Africa hadn't even called for the batting Powerplay. While South Africa 's order has gained confidence, from Herschelle Gibbs at the top to Albie Morkel and Johan Botha towards the bottom, the Australians are in worse shape than when they began. Throughout the series their batting has struggled to build on strong platforms and they wasted another chance on Monday as they dropped from the comfort of 2 for 110 in the 20th over to 222 in the 48th.

South Africa showed how good the pitch was and how bad Australia 's total was as the home side's bowlers suffered as well. At times it looked like a tour game and the international batsmen were trying to out-do each other. Gibbs eased eight boundaries in his 29-ball 38 and Amla maintained a lively pace while finding gaps on both sides of the wicket from the fast men. de Villiers, who swept to a half-century with a four and a six from David Hussey, joined in after Jacques Kallis (13) flicked James Hopes to midwicket and they were 100 in 15 overs.

South Africa completed a magnificent Test and one-day double over Australia and it would be difficult for Australia to retain the world’s first slot unless it plays better in the next matches. This has been as comprehensive a victory as one could imagine. The South African innings was kickstarted by Gibbs and the work was completed by de Villiers and Amla. Australia looked flat out there with no visible energy on the field. They have to look to regroup quickly before they face NZ.


  1. I think that Hashim Amla and the rest of the boys did a superb job today! Keeping their cool and handling themselves with such composure that they deserve the number 1 icc ranking! Congarts boys u all do us proud!

  2. hashim amla is my relative


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