AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla registered the highest fourth wicket partnership for South Africa with an unbeaten stand against West Indies at Centurion © Getty Images (File Photo)
Hashim Amla (left) and AB de Villiers registered the highest fourth wicket partnership for South Africa with an unbeaten stand of 283 against West Indies at Centurion © Getty Images (File Photo)

Dec 17, 2014

South Africa finished Day-One of the first Test against the West Indies at Centurion on an imposing 340 for 3. Riding on the back of scintillating hundreds from Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers the Proteas ran the visitors ragged. The two Batsmen came together with the balance tilted in the favour of the visitors at 57 for three. They weathered the storm leading into lunch, keeping the West Indies bowlers at bay while they were fresh and building pressure.

But the subsequent session was the beginning of a long and tiring leather hunt for the visitors. Both De Villiers and Amla played with gay abandon against an attack that struggled to sustain the intensity for any length of time.  The duo added 123 runs in the post lunch session, stroking the ball with unmatched exquisiteness and hitting boundaries with consummate ease, without being separated.

The final session saw the duo bring up their respective centuries. De VIlliers won the race to the land mark notching up his 20th Test hundred which was also his fifth against the West Indies. Amla soon followed suit as he brought up his 23rd Test hundred. The fatiguing visitors attack was taken to the sword by the pair of De Villiers and Amla. To compound their problems Sheldon Cottrell was warned for bowling a beamer and running on the danger area in his follow through. The closing stages of the Day also saw Kemar Roach struggling with his fitness, which left the visitors handicapped as they couldn’t even take the second new ball. It appeared as though they had resigned to their fate and are at the mercy of a declaration from the South Africans, which may not come till tea time tomorrow.

Earlier the toss was delayed due to rain which prompted Denesh Ramdin to insert the hosts into bat. His decision stood vindicated half way through the first session when they had the hosts in a spot of bother at 57 for three. Although West Indies began poorly on what was a responsive pitch in the morning, they clawed back into the match with three quick wickets. The chief architect of the visitors brief revival was Kemar Roach who accounted for the wickets of Alviro Petersen and Faf du Plessis. The only other wicket that came during the day was taken by Cottrell – the victim Dean Elgar fell for a promising 28. These were the final moments of joy for the visitors as Amla and De Villiers dominated proceedings there on. West Indies went into the Test with a 3-1 combination, opting for the left arm spin of Sulieman Benn for variety. The proteas on the other hand have picked a four pronged pace attack. Stiaan Van Zyl was handed a debut Test in the absence of JP Duminy.

Brief scores:

South Africa 340 for 3 (AB de Villiers 141*, Hashim Amla 133*; Kemar Roach 2 for 52, Sheldon Cottrell 1 for 74) vs West Indies.

Full Scorecard

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