Records and personal milestones are totally secondary to South African batsman Hashim Amla as his rich vein of form continues.
The Proteas top-order batsman clobbered an unbeaten 110 not out from just 112 deliveries to pilot the hosts to an easy 10-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the first of three One-Day Internationals at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley on Sunday.
Amla shared a record unbroken opening stand of 282 with Quinton de Kock (168 not out) as they chased down the Tigers’ total of 278/7 with 43 balls to spare and secured a 1-0 series lead.
“We’ve got bigger things to worry about than records – like the ball coming at you,” said Amla.
“Just as the records come up – yes, it is obviously nice to share those records with Quinton – so somebody else is going to break it, so they’re not really yours.
“Never take anything for granted, that’s the number-one rule in any sport. When you go through tough times and you’re struggling to find runs, that’s when you think of the good times to keep in some sort of nick and maintain the momentum.”
Both Amla and De Kock made merry on a good batting deck at the home of Griqualand West cricket, but the former was quick to hail the role of the Proteas attack.
“It was a good wicket to bat on and got better later on in the afternoon. But we have quality bowlers who will always challenge the Bangladesh team, even though it’s a good batting wicket,” said Amla.
With injuries to key players and some form issues proving disruptive and posing some selection headaches, new faces have been asked to step up to the plate, which, according to Amla, bodes well for the 2019 World Cup.
Kagiso Rabada and Dwaine Pretorius have fronted the attack with aplomb, Dane Paterson was handed his ODI debut and Andile Phehlukwayo is coming into his own at top level.
“Injuries provide a sort of a blessing in disguise. It opens the door for other guys to get experience, while there are guys waiting in the wings who have got experience,” Amla pointed out.
“It’s extremely important for those guys to get game time and develop their international careers.”
The second ODI will be played at Eurolux Boland Park in Paarl on Wednesday. Play starts at 10am.
African News Agency (ANA)