Hashim Amla on Saturday broke Virat Kohli’s record for being the fastest to reach 27 centuries in ODI cricket. Amla has reached the milestone in 167 innings, surpassing Kohli’s 169. But the South African star has earned criticism over the manner in which he got the century in Port Elizabeth. Amla batted through the innings and ended unbeaten on 108 off 120 balls as South Africa ended their innings on a bizarre total of 267/2. Pakistan chased it down with ease, winning the match by five wickets.
Batting first, opening pair Amla and Reeza Hendricks put up a partnership of 82 runs. Rassie van der Dussen then joined Amla in the middle and the pair went on to score 155 runs for the second wicket. The former was dismissed seven runs short of his debut ODI ton when he fell to Hasan Ali in the 47th over.
South Africa had put up 237 runs at the time and they managed to put 60 runs in the remaining four overs. Pakistan were cruising until the 37th over when they lost three quick wickets. But that was all that went wrong in the innings as Mohammad Hafeez steered them to victory.
Proteas skipper Faf Du Plessis said that the batsmen should have pushed for more runs. “Those two guys batted really well but there were probably 15 or 20 more runs that we could have scored if we had pushed a bit harder,” said South African captain Faf du Plessis. “Pakistan bowled really well in the middle overs.”
Amla’s century was his first in 15 months. It is also the first time ever that he has scored a century in a losing effort in ODI cricket. He is the fastest to reach 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000 and 7000 ODI runs and needs 196 runs in seven innings to become the fastest to 8000 runs.