County Championship: Hashim Amla defies odds with record-breaking knock
A defiant knock by former South African opener Hashim Amla helped Surrey claim a precious draw in their County Championship fixture against Hampshire. The Proteas legend batted the entire day, finishing with an unbeaten 37 off 278 balls. As a result, Surrey, who were following on, avoided an innings defeat. They managed 8/128 after getting bowled out for 72. Here are further details.
How did the match pan out?
Hampshire started in an emphatic manner but were reduced to 155/5 after Surrey put them in to bat. New Zealand all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme smashed an unbeaten 174, thereby powering Hampshire to 488. Meanwhile, Surrey were bundled out for 72, with Amla being the top run-scorer (29). Surrey were tottering on 60/5 after receiving a follow-on. However, Amla's match-defining knock made the difference.
The heroics of Amla
Surrey were reduced to 6/2 when Amla walked out to bat. He firmly held his ground even though wickets kept falling on the opposite end. Amla scored an unbeaten 37 off 278 balls, a knock studded with 5 fours. Notably, the South African veteran fended off a bowling attack that delivered an astonishing 64 maiden overs and over 500 dot balls in the innings.
Second-lowest strike-rate in a FC innings since 2008
Amla registered the second-lowest strike-rate (13.30) in a First-class innings since 2008 (minimum 200 balls). Interestingly, he also occupies the top spot on this tally. In 2015, he recorded a strike-rate of 10.24 during his 244-ball 25 in the Delhi Test.
Amla scored his first boundary on 125th ball
Amla scored just three runs from the first 100 balls he faced. He did not score a boundary until the 125th ball of his innings. During the valiant knock, Amla showed incredible resistance by taking heavy blows to his body. He was also dropped toward the day's end off the bowling of Keith Barker. Ian Holland put down the catch at leg slip.
Another record scripted by Amla
Most balls faced in a first-class innings of less than 40:— Andrew Samson (@AWSStats) July 7, 2021
278 HM Amla (37*) Surrey v Hampshire Southampton 2021
277 TE Bailey (38) England v Australia Leeds 1953
(where balls faced are known)
'It was a battle', Amla said after the match
"It was a real battle. We had a cause. You need a lot to go your way especially on this wicket. It was up and down and there was quite a bit of rough from the off-spinner," Amla said after the match. "The last thing you want to do is play a couple of bad shots and the game is over by lunch."