Standard Bank Proteas batsman, Hashim Amla, says there is enough time in the match to achieve a result, despite the rain-curtailed opening day of the third Test match against New Zealand at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Saturday. Amla top-scored with his 32nd Test half-century, before the rain brought an end to a gripping contest between bat and ball with the score on 123/4 after lunch.
This was Amla’s first fifty of the tour across the formats, a composed and elegant innings which included nine boundaries. He gave credit to New Zealand’s new-look pace attack, which exploited the elements to suit their skills in ‘tough’ batting conditions.
“It was turning out to be a good first day,” he said of the day’s frustrations. “The wicket had a bit of juice in it, and after lunch the ball started to swing a lot more. We are grateful to be in a position with some runs on the board, but we are a long way from a good total on this type of track.
“It was nice to get some runs, I felt good,” he said. “They were tough batting conditions, it stayed overcast, we were hoping it would clear up and then later in the afternoon the cloud cover would come back. It was tough, the guys are going to have to fight through for more runs tomorrow.”
Amla says the mindset and strategy will remain the same despite the weather, which is to capitalise on a big first-innings score with the hope of the seamers having a good run in the lively conditions.
“There is so much time left in the game” he explained. “We may have lost 50-odd overs but you end up making that up over the four days with the extra half an hour every morning. The strategy doesn’t change; you want to bat as big as you can in the first innings and assess from there. We have a long way to go in terms of our batting, we want to try and get a good score on the board to set the game up.”
Faf du Plessis (33) and Temba Bavuma (13) will resume the innings on 123/4 on Sunday. Play will start at 10h30 local time (23h30 SAST), with the remaining overs to be made up throughout the day.