Sri Lanka v South Africa Test - Men's

Amla becomes third Protea to pass 9,000

Veteran right-hander joins Kallis and Smith among South Africans to have reached the milestone

Cricket Network

21 July 2018, 08:21 PM

Hashim Amla enhanced his reputation as one of the finest batsmen South Africa has ever produced after passing 9,000 Test runs on day two of the second Test against Sri Lanka.

Fighting to keep the Proteas afloat after they slumped to 3-15, the veteran right-hander became just the third South African to reach the milestone after former teammates Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith.

Amla hardly sealed the feat in a manner befitting his tremendous career; having moved to two, he drove hard towards short cover who spilled a straightforward catch and allowed Amla to run a single.

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His 9,000th run came in his 204th Test innings, nine more than it took Smith (195 innings) and 16 more than Kallis (188). The fastest to 9,000 remains legendary Sri Lanka Kumar Sangakkara, who achieved the feat in 172 innings.

Soon after passing the milestone, Amla became the fourth wicket to fall in Colombo, caught at short leg off Dilruwan Perera, as South Africa folded for just 124 to Sri Lanka's spin barrage.

Kallis' South African record of 13,206 Test runs may be out of reach but Amla, who now has 9,016 runs to his name, could yet pass Smith's mark of 9,253.

Since making his international debut against India in 2004, Amla has gone on to make hundreds against eight of the nine Test sides he's faced, with Zimbabwe the only nation he's failed to reach triple-figures against.

While his career average sits at a healthy 47.45, his form this year has failed to live up to his lofty reputation.

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In 17 innings, Amla has averaged just 25.47 in Tests against India, Australia and Sri Lanka.

But fellow Proteas stalwart Dale Steyn backed the 35-year-old to bounce back, praising his calming influence in the South Africa dressing room.

"Obviously he’s a machine in terms of runs, he just churns them out regardless of the format," Steyn told Times Live in May.

"But I find that Hash has always brought a sense of calm to the team. We all have our ways but to remain calm in extreme situations is an incredible strength.

"He’s also never shy of a bit of humour‚ very smart and calculated in his approach. He always brings a smile to the guys’ faces."

While he's become one of his generation's leading Test batters, Amla is among the very best one-day international cricketers of all time.

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He has struck 7,535 runs at a shade over 50 in 164 games with 26 hundreds, having eclipsed Virat Kohli's record as the fastest man to 7,000 ODI runs in June last year. The South African did it in 11 knocks fewer than Kohli.

In February 2017, Amla joined legends Kallis, Sangakkara, Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara, 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.