South Africa first innings 403-2 (Hashim Amla 183*, Graeme Smith 131, Jacques Kallis 82*, Tim Bresnan 1-77) leads England first innings (Alastair Cook 115, Jonathan Trott 71, Morne Morkel 4-72) by 18 runs.
Hashim Amla fired at the English bowlers by smashing 183 and Graeme Smith hammered a ton as South Africa got on England’s nerves in the 1st Test.
England scored 385 runs in the first innings in 125.5 overs and South Africa made a solid reply by piling up 403 runs after 135 overs with eight wickets in hand at stumps on day two.
The second day’s play of the first Test concluded on Saturday, July 21, 2012, at Kennington Oval, London.
Earlier, the Proteas initiated the innings on the second day at 1-86 in 37 overs, Hashim Amla and Graeme Smith were unbeaten on 47 and 37 runs respectively. The first completed his fifty in the 41st over and they added just three runs in the first four overs. Amla hit the first four of the day in the 42nd over and Smith followed him in the next over. The first hundred of the innings was posted on board in the 44th over and Smith earned his hard fought fifty in the 53rd over.
The skipper, Graeme Smith changed his gears after his fifty, he dispatched seven fours in the following five overs and overtook Hashim Amla by reaching 83 after 57 overs as the latter had scored 68 runs. Smith hit two consecutive fours in the 65th over of Tim Bresnan, smashed his 25th Test ton and became the only seventh batsman in the history to hit a century in his 100th Test.
Amla speeded up after lunch interval and powered his hundred on the third ball of the 72nd over. That century was achieved after nearly eight months as he scored his last ton against Australia on November 17, 2011, at Johannesburg. Smith punished Stuart Broad for three back to back fours in the 84th over and accumulated 259 runs for the second wicket partnership which was the highest stand for the visitors against England. He was finally clean bowled by Tim Bresnan for 131 runs scored off 273 balls with 20 fours.
The ever consistent, Jacques Kallis, joined in next with the smooth going Hashim Amla and opened his account with a four. South Africa reached 2-277 at tea interval after 92 overs and both batsmen started off again from where they left before the break once the play resumed. Amla reached the magical figure of 150 in the 105th over with a perfect cover drive which resulted in a four.
Kallis opened his arms with two fours in the 106th over and got his fourth fifty against the hosts in England. The English captain, Andrew Strauss, inducted seven bowlers to dislocate the partnership but remained unsuccessful. The batting duo kept on cruising at a reasonable scoring rate and took the score to 400 in 133 overs. South Africa went ahead the first innings total of England by 18 runs while amassing 403 runs for the loss of two mere wickets. Hashim Amla stood as a rock with unbeaten 183 whereas Jacques Kallis was 18 runs short of his 43rd Test ton.
The Proteas will anticipate both batsmen at the crease for adding quite a few runs on day three and they still have a lot a batting to follow which can put the hosts in trouble. England will look for a few quick wickets once the play starts on the third day to put them back in the game which seems slipping away from them.