Amazing Amla breaks another ODI record

Unstoppable Proteas run machine bests a host of legends with 25th career century in Champions Trophy

Fresh from eclipsing Virat Kohli's record as the fastest batsman to 7,000 one-day international runs, South Africa opener Hashim Amla has eclipsed a host of legends of the game in another category.

His chanceless century in the Proteas' Champions Trophy tournament opening clash with Sri Lanka at The Oval on Saturday evening was the 25th ODI ton of his career. It came in just his 151st match.

The next closest is Kohli, who took 162 matches to get there. 

Scores: South Africa v Sri Lanka

By way of comparison, the great Sachin Tendulkar took 234 games to reach that mark, and Australia legend Ricky Ponting 279 matches. Sri Lanka great Kumar Sangakkara, who now calls The Oval home with England county side Surrey, took 379 ODIs to get there.

Amla's first mistake in a sublime innings lead to his dismissal shortly after breaking the record - a desperate attempt for a second run saw him caught short after a bullet throw by Kusal Mendis. He departed for 23, having become the fourth centurion in three matches in this tournament. 

Bangladesh's Tamim Iqbal became the first centurion in this Champions Trophy, with England's Joe Root answering in the second innings of that match. And New Zealand captain Kane Williamson scored a sublime century of his own against Australia in Friday night's washout at Edgbaston against Australia.

Amla's latest entry into ODI cricket's record books came after he passed the 7,000 run mark during the Proteas 2-1 series defeat to England prior to the tournament. 

 Upon reaching 23 during South Africa's innings in the third fixture at Lord's, Amla reached 7,000 runs in 150th innings – 11 knocks fewer than it took Kohli.

The India skipper, who scored his 7,000th ODI run in January 2016 in Australia, has also been usurped by Amla as the holder of the records for fastest to 5,000 and 6,000 ODI runs, with the South African run machine seemingly forever on the heels of his younger batting counterpart.

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Amla is one of only five batsmen to have played 100 ODIs and be averaging more than 50 with the bat, while his 24 centuries put him level with AB de Villiers as the national record.

In February, the 34-year-old joined legends Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis, Brian Lara, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena in an elite group of players to have scored 50 international hundreds.

Incredibly, he did it in comfortably quicker time than those illustrious names that achieved the feat before him, with his 348 innings well ahead of second-placed Tendulkar's 376.

Amla made scores of 73 and 24 in the first two ODIs to continue his fine form from the Indian Premier League, where he made his first two T20 hundreds during a dominant tournament with Kings XI Punjab.

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On reaching 28 against England, he went past former captain Graeme Smith as South Africa's most prolific opening batsman in ODI cricket – a position from which he's scored all but 30 of his runs.

South Africa face Sri Lanka in their Champions Trophy opener on Saturday at The Oval, before taking on further subcontinental opposition in Pakistan and India on June 7 and 11 respectively.

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 "We have a very good balance in the team," Amla said last week.

"There are a few of us who have been around for a few years, (and) a few exciting youngsters like Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada and Wayne Parnell, who has been around but still has age on his side.

"We have a very good mix, hopefully we can all put it together."

Champions Trophy 2017 Guide

Squads: Every Champions Trophy squad named so far

Group A: Australia, New Zealand, England, Bangladesh.

Group B: India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan.


Warm-up matches

26 May – Australia v Sri Lanka, The Oval

27 May – Bangladesh v Pakistan, Edgbaston

28 May – India v New Zealand, The Oval

29 May – Australia v Pakistan, Edgbaston

30 May – New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Edgbaston

30 May – Bangladesh vs India, The Oval


1 June – England v Bangladesh, The Oval (Day)

2 June – Australia v New Zealand, Edgbaston (D)

3 June – Sri Lanka v South Africa, The Oval (D)

4 June – India v Pakistan, Edgbaston (D)

5 June – Australia v Bangladesh, The Oval (D/N)

6 June – England v New Zealand, Cardiff (D)

7 June – Pakistan v South Africa, Edgbaston (D/N)

8 June – India v Sri Lanka, The Oval (D)

9 June – New Zealand v Bangladesh, Cardiff (D)

10 June – England v Australia, Edgbaston (D)

11 June – India v South Africa, The Oval (D)

12 June – Sri Lanka v Pakistan, Cardiff (D)

14 June – First semi-final (A1 v B2), Cardiff (D)

15 June – Second semi-final (A2 v B1), Edgbaston (D)

18 June – Final, The Oval (D)

19 June – Reserve day (D)

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