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Amla leads South African resistance with unbeaten 157

Half-centuries from AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis and dropped catches help host end Day 3 on 353/3
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Rarely do two consecutive days produce such contrasting cricket, but such is the beauty of the Test game. After Sunday sped by in a whir of 453 runs, South Africa knuckled down to try and turn an increasingly long corner on Monday (January 4).
 
With Hashim Amla batting through the day for an unbeaten 157 and AB de Villiers the only batsman to fall, for 88, South Africa closed the third day at Newlands on 353 for 3. Although it still trails England’s 629 for 6 declared by 276 runs, the South Africans will feel they are more than halfway to making the game safe.
 
The pitch has become easier to bat on, but England’s fielders were guilty of blowing the opportunities that would have kept the pressure on the South Africans. De Villiers had been dropped in the slips on five on Sunday, and Amla was put down twice on Monday.
 
South Africa resumed on 141 for 2 knowing that time, rather than runs, was the currency of the day. England bowled a probing line around off stump but found no lateral movement - even after a ball change 15 minutes into the day – and Amla and de Villiers expertly drew the sting out of the match. Just 20 runs came from 13 overs in the first hour.
 
The second hour brought the day’s critical moment, as Joe Root found the edge of Amla’s bat and James Anderson put the chance down at slip – a reverse of the de Villiers opportunity on the second evening. At that stage South Africa was 176 for 2 with Amla on 76, and England might have been able to get into their wobbly middle order.


 
Instead, South Africa batted through the session without losing a wicket to reach lunch on 199 for 2, and notched up their first century stand in a Test since the 2014 Boxing Day Test against West Indies in Port Elizabeth. In the process, de Villiers went to fifty and passed 8000 Test runs, and, from the first ball after lunch, Amla eclipsed the 7000-run mark with a glorious drive through the covers. At the end of the same over, he carved Moeen Ali through backward point to reach his 24th Test century to warm applause.
 
The second new ball brought an eventful period as de Villiers was given out lbw and had the decision overturned on review due to an inside edge, and Amla was dropped again – this time by Nick Compton at backward point off Steven Finn. The partnership finally came to an end four overs later when Finn finally got deserved reward, as de Villiers pulled a short ball to Anderson at midwicket. It was the first wicket to fall to a bowler in almost two days, and it ended the partnership on 183.
 
South Africa went to tea on 290 for 3 soon after, and enjoyed an incident-free evening session, even if Faf du Plessis had a jittery start to his innings.
 
After reaching 150, Amla went into his shell and scored just seven runs in the final 20 overs of the day. At the other end, du Plessis reached his first half-century in exactly a year, ending a horror run of ten innings that yielded just 119 runs. He closed on 51 not out.

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1 June - 18 June 2017

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ODI
Final, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 | The Oval, London
Pakistan won by 180 runs
Pakistan
338/4
India
158
Match Centre
ODI
Semi Final 2, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 | Edgbaston, Birmingham
India won by 9 wickets
Bangladesh
264/7
India
265/1
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ODI
Semi Final 1, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 | Cardiff Wales Stadium, Cardiff
Pakistan won by 8 wickets
England
211
Pakistan
215/2
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ODI
Match 12, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 | Cardiff Wales Stadium, Cardiff
Pakistan won by 3 wickets
Sri Lanka
236
Pakistan
237/7
Match Centre
ODI
Match 11, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 | The Oval, London
India won by 8 wickets
India
193/2
South Africa
191
Match Centre
ODI
Match 10, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 | Edgbaston, Birmingham
England won by 40 runs (DLS Method)
England
240/4
Australia
277/9
Match Centre
ODI
Match 9, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 | Cardiff Wales Stadium, Cardiff
Bangladesh won by 5 wickets
New Zealand
265/8
Bangladesh
268/5
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ODI
Match 8, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 | The Oval, London
Sri Lanka won by 7 wickets
India
321/6
Sri Lanka
322/3
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ODI
Match 7, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 | Edgbaston, Birmingham
Pakistan won by 19 runs (DLS Method)
Pakistan
119/3
South Africa
219/8
Match Centre
ODI
Match 6, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 | Cardiff Wales Stadium, Cardiff
England won by 87 runs
England
310
New Zealand
223
Match Centre

Group A

Pos Team P NRR Pts
1 England 3 1.04 6
2 Bangladesh 3 0.00 3
3 Australia 3 -0.99 2
4 New Zealand 3 -1.05 1

Group B

Pos Team P NRR Pts
1 India 3 1.37 4
2 Pakistan 3 -0.68 4
3 South Africa 3 0.16 2
4 Sri Lanka 3 -0.79 2
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