Under-pressure Amla leads South Africa fightback against England

first_imgCAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP):South Africa showed some fight in the second Test yesterday, with Hashim Amla’s 157 not out helping cut England’s lead to 276 as the home team reached 353-3 at stumps on the third day.Amla, the South Africa captain, eased the pressure on himself and his top-ranked team with his 24th Test century and first since December 2014.He shared partnerships of 183 with A.B. de Villiers (88) and an unbroken 85 with Faf du Plessis. South Africa lost just one wicket for 212 runs on the day.England, after a huge first-innings total of 629-6 declared, were finding it tough to take wickets on a serene batting pitch at Newlands, which has been so good for the batsmen that 982 runs were scored over three days.”Tricky day for us,” England fast bowler Steven Finn said. “One wicket in a day is obviously not ideal for what we wanted from this day … but we’re still a long way ahead in the game.”England also already lead the four-match series 1-0, leaving South Africa effectively batting to stay alive in the contest.”We were behind the eight ball on day one,” Du Plessis said. “England played really well and we needed a really resilient performance to get back in the Test match and that’s what we did.”England’s lone breakthrough came just before tea when De Villiers, looking to push on, mistimed a pull shot off Finn. The ball flew to James Anderson, who knocked it up in the air at midwicket and completed the catch.Frustratingly for England, both Amla and De Villiers should have been out much earlier but for dropped catches. Joe Root put De Villiers down at slip off the bowling of Anderson late on the second day and very early in De Villiers’ knock. In a twist of irony, Anderson dropped Amla off Root’s bowling when the South African skipper was on 76. Amla was dropped again on 120 by Nick Compton.”Obviously we’re disappointed to not take them but no one means to drop catches,” Finn said.De Villiers hit 12 fours and a six, while Amla returned to form with a big century, hitting 21 fours.With South Africa in a slump, Amla’s lack of form and captaincy had come under scrutiny. When he passed 50, it was for the first time since the New Year test in Cape Town a year ago, ending a drought of 11 innings without a meaningful score.last_img read more

Brathwaite lands big payday

first_img POWERFUL BATSMAN BENGALURU, India (CMC): Rising West Indies star Carlos Brathwaite made headlines at the Indian Premier League auction yesterday when he was snapped up by Delhi Daredevils for US$626,000. The 27-year-old, who made a huge impact with his power-hitting on the recent Test tour of Australia, entered the draft with a base price of US$30,000, but saw his value catapult as Delhi moved quickly to secure his services. He will now make his first-ever appearance in the glitzy multimillion-dollar tournament that runs from April 8 to May 29. “Excited to be a part of IPL and DelhiDaredevils. Giving thanks,” Brathwaite tweeted shortly afterwards. He was one of four West Indies players to find success during the auction. Opener Dwayne Smith was picked up by new franchise Gujarat Lions for US$343,000, Test and one-day captain Jason Holder was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for $104,000 while leg-spinner Samuel Badree went to Royal Challengers Bangalore for $74,000. Brathwaite, a powerful lower order batsman and steady seamer, has been on the fringe of West Indies Test selection for some time, but finally made his debut on the tour of Down Under last December. He struck 59 in his first Test innings at Melbourne and then flaunted his bold attacking style in the final Test in Sydney, blasting 69 from 71 balls with seven fours and four sixes. However, it was his scintillating hundred in a one-day game against Sri Lanka Cricket President’s XI last October in Colombo that would have caught the attention. He faced just 58 balls and slammed ten fours and seven sixes in a devastating knock.last_img read more

‘I came with only one intention’ – Taylor fulfils target of breaking record

first_imgCALABAR HIGH School’s 400 metres sensation, Christopher Taylor, achieved another milestone in his young but illustrious career after he established the Class Two 400-metre record of 46.33 in the heats on yesterday’s first day of the GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletic Championships at the National Stadium. The previous record, 46.64 seconds, was held by Jamaica College’s Devaughn Baker in 2013. The 16-year-old, who competed despite suffering from flu, left the field for dead and won by more than 20 metres. Despite his illness, Taylor has not ruled out lowering the record. “I feel really pleased because I came out here with only one intention, and that was to break the record and I came out and I did it,” he said. The young star, who has been affected by the ailment for a little over a week, is nearly back to full health, but he is focused on getting back to his best. “I don’t think I will give a better performance (semi or final) because I have some illness issues still affecting me right now, so I am just taking it easy round by round and see how it goes. But anything is possible. Once I put my mind to it I can do it, so I will put my mind to it in the semi-final and the final,” he said.last_img read more