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Amla, de Villiers punish West Indies

Both batsmen slam centuries, put on 283 for fourth wicket as South Africa recovers to reach 340 for 3

Amla, de Villiers punish West Indies - Cricket News
Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers walk back after first day's play.
Twin tons from Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers gave South Africa the upper hand as it recovered smartly from early blows on the first day of the first Test against West Indies in Centurion on Wednesday (December 17).

Amla remained unbeaten on 133, while de Villiers was on 141 at stumps, the duo having added 283 for the fourth wicket to take South Africa to 340 for 3 at stumps. 

The pair came together with South Africa in trouble, having lost three wickets for no runs when the total was just 57.

West Indies failed to make use of the heavy overcast conditions after choosing to bowl first, letting Amla and de Villiers resurrect the South African innings with some mediocre bowling. 

West Indies was further dented by an injury to by Kemar Roach, who was comfortably their best bowler, in his 16th over, half an hour after tea.

Alviro Petersen and Dean Elgar gave the host a good start before Roach was brought into the attack after nine overs. Roach gave the visitor the first wicket in the form of Petersen, who was caught at first slip. He followed that up with the wicket of Faf du Plessis, forcing him to edge to the keeper before limping off with figures of 2 for 52.

In between, Sheldon Cottrell, the left-arm paceman, dismissed Elgar, caught by Marlon Samuels at gully as three wickets fell in the space of 15 balls.

After those early setbacks, Amla and de Villiers added 45 to the total, taking South Africa to lunch without any further hiccups. 

De Villiers reached his half-century in the post-lunch session, off 78 balls. The 100 partnership between the two came up off 156 balls with a boundary off de Villiers's bat. Amla's fifty followed soon afterwards off 87 balls.

De Villiers became the fifth South African to score 20 Test centuries after facing 138 balls, while Amla's 23rd hundred came off 161 deliveries. Keeping the pacer-friendly conditions in mind, South Africa selected four specialist fast bowlers and no spinner, Kyle Abbott playing ahead of Robin Peterson, the left-arm spinner. Stiaan van Zyl, the left-hand batsman, made his Test debut.

West Indies drafted in Suleiman Benn, the left-arm spinner, and went in with three fast bowlers in Roach, Jerome Taylor and Cottrell.

To review the West Indies and South Africa match in full, please click here