Sunday, July 20, 2008

Amla salutes South Africa's crown Prince

Hashim Amla paid tribute to fellow batsman Ashwell Prince after the South Africa vice-captain's second hundred in as many matches against England steered the Proteas into a commanding position in the second Test here at Headingley.

Prince, at stumps on Saturday's second day, was 134 not out in a total of 322 for four that left South Africa with an overnight lead of 119.

He had so far added 179 with AB de Villiers (70 not out) for the fifth wicket after South Africa had been 143 for four in reply to England's first innings 203 all out.

Prince's ninth hundred at this level followed his 101 in the first innings of the drawn first Test at Lord's.

"I think his temperament is superb and he keeps the game quite simple,"
Amla said of Prince.
"That's basically his biggest trait.

"He's batting very well at the moment on key occasions for us and he's produced two fantastic knocks."

Amla, who also made a century at Lord's, was the only man dismissed Saturday when lbw for 38 to England's Australia-raised but Grimsby-born debutant pace bowler Darren Pattinson.

South Africa have been a transformed team since being made to follow-on at Lord's and have so far piled up 715 runs for the loss of seven wickets since being bowled out for just 247 in their first innings of this four-Test series.

Amla, asked what had changed, replied:
"At Lord's, in the first innings maybe we didn't apply ourselves as well. Maybe we were a little overwhelmed.

"But in this Test, we were battle-hardened. We just tried to up the tempo."

England have spent 365 overs in the field during the past five days, with just a three-day break between the first two Tests.

"All I know is that I would be feeling stiff,"
said Amla.
It does feel close, especially when you spend one day travelling, but I understand this is the nature of international cricket.

"It's a tough school and at the end of the day you've got to be fit enough to deal with it."

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