Amla century lone bright spot for South Africa against Sri Lanka
Hashim Amla raises his bat in celebration after scoring a century (100 runs) during the third day of the second Test match between Sri Lanka and South Africa in Colombo on July 26, 2014 - by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi
Amla showed characteristic grit in making an unbeaten 119 off 300 balls but he failed to find support from the other batsmen on a deteriorating track at the SSC ground in Colombo.
His century, the first by a South African captain in Sri Lanka, helped his side avoid the embarrassment of follow-on but they still trailed the hosts by 187 runs in first innings. Sri Lanka made 421 in their first knock.
At tea, South Africa were 234-7 with Dale Steyn (18) being the other not out batsman.
Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera led the spin charge, taking 4-58 while left-armer Rangana Herath chipped in with 2-48.
South Africa lost Jean-Paul Duminy and Vernon Philander to spin in the second session that saw them put on 71 runs at less than three runs an over.
Duminy (three) fiddled around for more than an hour before he was stumped by Niroshan Dickwella off Herath while Philander was bowled by Perera.
Amla, dropped on 93 at short cover by Kaushal Silva, completed his 22nd Test hundred with a single off Herath, a fitting reward for his lonely toil on the crease.
The bearded batting wizard is leading the side for the first time in this two-Test series after being named skipper last month following the retirement of Graeme Smith.
The first session saw Herath get rid of AB de Villiers (37) and Quinton de Kock for a duck in the space of three balls after South Africa had resumed at their overnight 98-3.
Amla and De Villiers started off positively and saw off the first hour without harm.
Amla broke the shackles with two consecutive fours off unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis and De Villiers followed suit, hitting paceman Suranga Lakmal (1-53) for three boundaries in the same over.
De Villiers had a scare on 30 when he gloved Lakmal to the wicketkeeper but TV replays showed the ball had bounced just inches short of Dickwella.
But just when the partnership was building up between Amla and De Villiers, Perera's double-strike reduced South Africa to 150-5.
He first had De Villiers trapped plumb in front off the fourth ball and then knocked the off-stump of De Kock off the last ball of the over.
MORE REGIONAL NEWS
Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn
As parents take their children to first day of school, one father is particularly concerned: a new examination that assigned thousands of st... More As parents take their children to first day of school, one father is particularly concerned: a new examination that assigned thousands of students into religious high schools has caught many parents in Turkey off guard. Duration: 02:43
Date 3 hrs ago, Duration 2:43, Views 19