Port Elizabeth – With their backs against the wall after a crushing defeat in Centurion, the fightback in the second Test against Australia was among the most memorable comebacks for the Proteas, said batsman Hashim Amla.
South Africa levelled the series with a 231 run win at St George's Park, in Port Elizabeth, on Sunday, where Amla played a vital role with 127 not out in the second innings.
“Over the last few years we've had quite a few fightbacks,” said Amla.
“I'll say fightbacks to win Tests as well as draw, like the one at the Wanderers, and the one in Adelaide. There have been some really memorable Test matches, and this one does go down as one of them because we came out on top.”
With heavy rain predicted for Monday in Port Elizabeth for the scheduled fifth day, the Proteas wanted to make sure they finished off their opponents in four days.
“There was this concern about the weather on Monday, and you can never prepare for it,” Amla said.
“But the ways the guys applied themselves late in the evening here, we felt we didn't want to leave it to the last day.”
Amla had gone through a period of seven innings where had not made more than 36, but the player said he had not been too concerned with his form.
“Sometimes you go through a few innings when you don't score runs. It's part of the game.”
Amla who averages 52.55 in Tests with 21 tons and 57
half-centuries was modest in his assessment of his own game.
“It's happened to players in the past, it's happened to everybody,” he said.
“It's no doubt it can happen to an average player like myself. I'm just glad I managed to get some runs today and put the team in a really good position to win it.
“I play every game like it's my last. I'm just grateful for those 21 hundreds. It feels like just the other day I started playing international cricket. The best thing is to score runs in a winning cause.”
Amla dislocated his left ring finger during the third day's play while fielding. He confirmed he had taken painkillers to be able to bat in South Africa's second innings.
“There were some painkillers involved. We managed to numb the pain occasionally,” he said.
“I had it strapped up quite nicely. Unfortunately, there were times in the innings when the painkillers wore off. But, by and large it was fine.” – Sapa