Proteas top ODI rankings

Hashim Amla delivered another master class.

HAMPSHIRE – Hashim Amla struck a superb 150 as South Africa beat England by 80 runs in the second one-day international at the Rose Bowl today.

Victory takes the Proteas to the top of the ICC one-day rankings. They were already the number one side in Test and T20 cricket.

Opener Amla, who sapped England’s spirit with a triple century at the start of the Test series, hit 16 fours in his 124-ball knock to see his side to 287-5.

He had some good fortune, dropped by Craig Kieswetter on 42 and 92 while Samit Patel had half a chance to run him out on one, but he showed unflappable concentration and a wide array of shots to register his 10th century in the format.

Amla’s total also made him the quickest ever batsman to 3,000 ODI runs.

England never looked convincing in reply on a tricky surface, with the top score Samit Patel’s late flurry of 45 when the game was already as good as lost.

South Africa, having won the toss, had initially looked unlikely to fashion a large total.

In the first five overs Graeme Smith and Amla managed just 11 runs, with James Anderson and Steven Finn enjoying a number of early successes with the two new balls.

But 38 runs came from the next five, Smith doing most of the damage with a mixture of authentic strokes and lucky edges.

Amla had less of the strike but aside from one streaky inside edge, went about scoring his runs steadily and without risk.

Smith’s half-century came from 70 balls, with five boundaries, but he added only two more before he top-edged Tim Bresnan to the sprinting Kieswetter.

Patel took Amla’s edge in the 21st over but Kieswetter fumbled and the opener responded by continuing to coast at a run-a-ball.

Amla’s call saw JP Duminy run out for 14 and Dean Elgar, playing his first ODI innings, made an uncomfortable 15 before having his off stump toppled by Graeme Swann

England lost their only review with a misguided lbw appeal against Amla, whose 50 arrived with his 54th ball. AB de Villiers should have been given caught behind on 22 but only cashed in to the tune of six runs before being bowled by Swann.

Amla and De Villiers took 38 off the batting powerplay, Amla moving serenely within sight of his hundred until Kieswetter put down a leg-side chance to deny Finn.

An upper-cut for four and a pair of singles brought up his century in 96 deliveries and the 29-year-old celebrated in typically understated fashion.

He opened his arms thereafter, picking up six more boundaries as he targeted Bresnan and Anderson in their final spells. He fell immediately after bringing up his 150, steering Finn to backward point with just two balls left in the innings.

Having watched Amla’s masterclass, the hosts made a terrible start to their reply, Alastair Cook losing his off stump to Lonwabo Tsotsobe off the second ball of the innings. It did not get much better after that, England capitulating for 207. (Sky)

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