Du Plessis leads tributes to Amla’s century stand

Amla will become the 8th player to achieve the milestone after Gary Kirsten, Shaun Pollock, Jacques Kallis, & Makhaya Ntini.

Proteas cricketer Hashim Amla. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG – Proteas captain Faf du Plessis has led tributes to star batsman Hashim Amla ahead of his 100th Test match for South Africa in the third Test against Sri Lanka, starting at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Thursday.

Amla will become the eighth player to achieve the milestone after Gary Kirsten, Shaun Pollock, Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher, Makhaya Ntini, Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers.

His 12-year career is highlighted by his career-best 311 against England at The Oval in 2012, a record which still stands as South Africa’s highest individual Test score, along with a rare double-hundred (253*) against India in Nagpur in 2010.

Du Plessis says Amla’s contributions on, and more-so off the field, have been invaluable towards the change room and praised the 33-year-old for the impact he has played on South African cricket.

“It’s an amazing achievement. 100 Test matches is fantastic, it’s something that I won’t come close to. As a team, we are very proud of him, it’s a big day for him.

“Hashim being Hashim doesn’t want anything special, it’s just another Test match for him. It will be nice to see him have a great day and score big runs, we are 100% behind him, he is a great player for us.”

He adds: “He has been the rock of our batting,” he continued. “He has been the most consistent player, with Jacques Kallis, that South Africa has ever had.

The Proteas will relish the opportunity to put in a memorable performance in light of the occasion, but more importantly, to cement their dominance on the struggling visitors.

Du Plessis says it will be important not to allow complacency to set in after a disruptive few days.