Proteas batsman, Hashim Amla says the batsmen focused on attacking the loose balls on a difficult surface after South Africa finished on 334 for six at stumps on day one of the third Sunfoil Test against Pakistan at Super Sport Park. The wristy batsman fell eight runs short of what would have been another classy century, but was happy with the Proteas’ position at stumps.
“We feel 330 odd is a really good first day total at SuperSport Park,” Amla said. Pakistan were left to play an inexperienced bowling attack after Umar Gul and Junaid Khan were unavailable for selection, with the Proteas capitalising on their inconsistency, despite losing wickets regularly.
Graeme Smith was unsure about what to do at the toss, but Amla says the batsmen were comfortable with the decision to bat first despite some invariable bounce and movement off the pitch. He feels the total at stumps is worth more than it looks, with the Proteas bowlers banking on the wicket to “act up a bit more” in the next couple of days.
“The overhead conditions probably suited batting,” Amla said. “It was a 50-50 call as to whether we were going to bat or bowl first, everyone was kind of undecided. When Graeme decided to bat first we were happy with the decision and we knew that it was going to be a bit tough but fortunately the day ended up quite nicely for us. The ball did a little bit off the deck but I think the small partnerships here and there managed to capitalise on some loose balls.”
AB de Villiers continues to put in telling performances with the bat and gloves for the Proteas, and was unbeaten on 98 alongside Vernon Philander (45*) at stumps.
“It was a bit testing, as a batman you can’t just get into a rhythm, at any given time you can get out and that is why I think AB’s knock was unbelievable. He hung in there a lot longer and managed to build a partnership with Vernon which was really crucial for us.”