England v South Africa, 2nd NatWest ODI, West End August 28, 2012

Faster than Viv Richards

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the second one-day international between England and South Africa

Review of the day
England had declined to utilise their one DRS opportunity when Hashim Amla, on 37, was trapped in front by Samit Patel - replays suggested the third umpire would have been obliged to adjudge the batsman out - but did use it when JP Duminy, on 4, was struck outside the line of leg stump by one from James Anderson. It meant that when AB de Villiers, on 22, edged an attempted switch-hit on to his shoulder and into the arms of Craig Kieswetter, England were unable to review the umpire's decision. Alastair Cook was proved correct five times out of nine when calling for reviews in the ODI series against Australia, but showed in this game that there is room for improvement with his use of the DRS.

Moment of the day
Amla was on just 1 when he drove a delivery from Anderson straight to mid-off and set off for the sharpest of singles. Had Samit Patel picked up cleanly and thrown well, Amla might well have been run-out. It was to prove an expensive blunder.

Stat of the day 1
During the course of his career-best ODI score, Amla became the fastest man to reach 3,000 ODI runs. To put his achievement in perspective, Amla reached the milestone in just his 57th innings, while the previous fastest batsman, Sir Viv Richards, took 69 innings. To beat Richards by any margin - let alone such a vast one - is testament to Amla's remarkable quality, consistency and adaptability.

Catch of the day
Dean Elgar's diving catch, running back at fine leg and clinging on to a tough chance with his left hand, dismissed Jonathan Trott and drove a nail into the coffin of England's hopes. Trott and Ian Bell had added 64 in 69 balls to keep England's hopes alive, only for Trott to paddle a delivery from Morne Morkel towards fine leg. Initially it appeared as if Elgar, running in too far, has misjudged the catch and allowed the ball to pass well over his head. Instead, however, Elgar kept his eye on the ball, leapt to catch it with his favoured left hand and cushioned his landing with his right. While Elgar failed to show the ability with the bat that led to his selection, he proved his athleticism and skill in the field.

Drop of the day
With Matt Prior and Jonny Bairstow both pressing for his place, this was a bad day for Kieswetter to have a bad day. After a series of much-improved performances behind the stumps, though, Kieswetter endured a highly disappointing display with the gloves. Not only did he drop three chances, but he oversaw England's poor utilisation of the DRS - the wicketkeeper is the one man in ODI cricket in the perfect place to make the call about which decisions to review - and failed to make amends with the bat. His most costly drop came when Amla was on 42 and he offered a routine outside edge off the left-arm spin of Patel only for Kieswetter, rising too early behind the stumps, missed the chance.

Move of the day
It summed up the first 10 overs of the match - a period when England's bowlers looked capable of taking a wicket every few deliveries - when Graeme Smith edged a delivery from Tim Bresnan through the vacant second slip position. It was the second delivery of the ninth over and the first delivery of the match for which England had not had two slips. But is that poor fortune for England or, bearing in mind the run of play, poor captaincy?

Stat of the day 2
Since the start of the World Cup in 2011, de Villiers is averaging 107 in ODI cricket. In this game he also passed 5,000 ODI runs in fewer innings (124) than anyone in history except Sir Viv Richards (114), Brian Lara (118) and Gordon Greenidge (121). Which all makes it a bit surprising that he came in behind Dean Elgar, who was playing his first ODI innings.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 31, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    Hashim Amla is a Great cricketer of this decade , inshallah he will break all the records ............

  • D on August 30, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    Dobell does it again. To read this you'd think that but for a handful of silly mistakes England would have thumped SA. Just can't bring himself to offer SA anything but faint, qualified, praise! Same throughout the series. Just can't do it, George, can you?!

  • Ravi on August 29, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    @Muski, Dear Sir Muski, Shahid afridi has far better strike rate than Sehwag in both ODI and Test, Sir Sambit Bal did not honour Afridi with his writing ? What is his point anyways ? Comparing a batsman like sehwag with Viv certainly demands an appointment with a brain doctor. I just could not understand the essence of that article. I agree, yes, Hashim amla's record is only statistics. However, I would like to point out that in old times, we did not have power plays. Also, we do not have ordinary bowlers like we have today. In that era, every team has good bowling attack, I guess the most mediocre attack was of england headed by Ian Bothom, then new zealand headed by richard hadlee, India, headed by Kapil dev, Pakistan headed by sarfaraz, then imran khan and wasim akram, and the most lethal of them was of australians with Dennis Lille and Jeff thomson. Viv,s domestic circuit has fearsome attacks that he faced. You can check his first class records.

  • Samrat on August 29, 2012, 19:04 GMT

    Fascination with the past is fine, but it need not mythologized. I look at Viv's stats and see he had Test avg in lower 40s against the best bowling teams of his era (Australia and Pakistan). But, I figure you beat the Poms to a pulp (avg in mid 60s) and they will knight you. And, don't get me started it is not about stats. If swagger was the only thing that mattered then Gibbs and Kambli would be the best batsmen of all ages. In comparison, Amla has done well against England/Aus/India, the best oppositions of his generation.

  • Dummy4 on August 29, 2012, 18:40 GMT

    I'm not sure why there is some banter about Hash's heritage, but for the record his grandparents came from Gujarat in India rather than his parents whom I believe are, like him, South African born.

  • Dummy4 on August 29, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    Sir Viv is one of them all time greats. Amla is great in this era & may be one day he also become an all time great. he is a fantastic player to watch. he broke the record doesn't mean the greatness taken away from Sir Viv. so stop being jealous. i guess even Sir Viv also happy to see a very classy batsman like Hashim Amla. wish for Amla. good day for cricket

  • Ramchand on August 29, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    Viv and Amla played in different eras. While both are good , we cant draw comparison because their approach to game is so very different.

  • Venkat on August 29, 2012, 16:21 GMT

    @Zain Khan: I guess you don't know that Amla's parents are both from India. Ha!

  • Dummy4 on August 29, 2012, 16:17 GMT

    Hashim is a superb bat. He deserves all the praise.

  • tommy on August 29, 2012, 16:17 GMT

    ALL BOW TO SIR AMLA. We salute you Hashim, you make all south africans proud. Keeping going!!!!

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