CAPE TOWN – The Proteas are definitely approaching the end of an era, with Hashim Amla joining Dale Steyn in retirement.
Unlike Steyn, who will still play white-ball cricket for the Proteas, Amla has called time on his international career across all formats.
We took a closer look at five of Amla’s finest Test innings...
311 not out against England, The Oval, 2012
The prize jewel in Amla’s crown came at his beloved south London ground, and catapulted him into the folklore of South African cricket forever.
His 13-hour stay at the crease, which resulted in 529 balls faced and 35 boundaries stroked, allowed Amla to overtake AB de Villiers’ 278 as South Africa’s highest innings, before becoming the country’s first – and still only – triple centurion with a drive through the covers.
All great innings are remembered for the overall result too, with Amla’s marathon paving the way for the Proteas bowlers to complete an innings-and-12-run victory.
253 not out against India, Nagpur, 2010
This was the first demonstration of Amla’s immense powers of concentration, with the Mighty# facing 473-balls for his undefeated 253 – his maiden Test double ton.
It formed part of a 340-run partnership with Jacques Kallis, who always seemed to be at the other end while Amla was tearing up the record books.
It was also once again the platform for the bowlers, led by the irrepressible Dale Steyn’s 10-for, to complete a memorable innings-and-six-run victory for the Proteas.
196 against Australia, WACA, 2012
Western Australians had flocked to the series decider to bid a fond farewell to Ricky Ponting, but the legendary Australian captain’s final Test will instead be remembered for Amla and De Villiers’ brilliance.
The South African pair gate-crashed Ponting’s party with a sublime 149-run partnership in under 37 overs that took the game away from the Aussies.
Unlike his previous innings, which showcased his ability to toil at the crease, here he unleashed his full repertoire of attacking strokes that yielded a strike-rate of 88.68! South Africa won the match by 309 runs.
149 against New Zealand, Newlands, 2006
A Test at the beginning of winter in Cape Town will not be remembered by many for other than a hovercraft being used to dry the ground before the morning’s play, and both teams piling on the runs in a drawn match.
But it did have special significance for Amla. After being sent back to domestic cricket after playing just six Tests to “sort out his technique”, he returned to international cricket determined to show that he could score runs playing the way he does.
“I felt that I was under quite a lot of pressure. It was quite a relief,” said Amla of his century.
201 against England, Newlands, 2016
The twin centuries at Eden Gardens, and particularly the second-innings knock, were special in 2010. However, Amla was possibly never under more pressure than during the England home series three years ago.
He was now captain of the Proteas Test side, and had just returned from a 3-0 drubbing in India, and were 1-0 behind to the English by the time New Year came around.
To compound matters, Ben Stokes struck a majestic 258, and along with an unbeaten 150 from Jonny Bairstow, England posted a mammoth 629/6 declared.
The Proteas needed Amla to lead from the front more than ever, and he responded with the final double century of his career. With Temba Bavuma also registering his maiden Test hundred, South Africa managed to avoid defeat.
Amla, though, still resigned from the Test captaincy after the match, with AB de Villiers taking over the reigns for the remainder of the series.