Cricket 11.1.2017 02:21 pm

Hashim Amla’s 100th Test: How did the others do in their big game?

Makhaya Ntini's 100th Test was actually a curtain-call on his Test career. Photo: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images.

Makhaya Ntini's 100th Test was actually a curtain-call on his Test career. Photo: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images.

Seven other legends have played more than 100 Tests for the Proteas, but for some it wasn’t a happy experience.

Hashim Amla, who will play his 100th Test from Thursday at the Wanderers, will hope to overturn his indifferent form in his milestone match.

Also read: Phew! There’s no talk of Hashim Amla retiring anytime soon

But how did the previous seven South African centurions fare in their special games?

Gary Kirsten – vs New Zealand, Auckland 2004

People used to say the former Proteas top-order batter and successful national coach batted in a bomb shelter.

That was how unflappable he was.

Yet his 100th Test was a bit of a nightmare.

He only scored a single in the first innings before he was bowled, leading to South Africa collapsing.

It was déjà vu in the second knock too as he scored 1 before being trapped LBW.

The Proteas lost by nine wickets but Kirsten atoned in his final Test as his 76 led them to a series draw.

Jacques Kallis – vs New Zealand, Centurion 2006

South Africa’s greatest all-rounder had a typically solid outing.

He was disappointed to be dismissed for 38 in the first innings when he looked set but a gritty 62 in the second effort helped the home side set a match-winning target after they initially fell behind.

Interestingly, Kallis’ 100th Test never felt like he was nearing retirement.

In fact, he went on to play a further 66 Tests.

Shaun Pollock – vs New Zealand, Centurion 2006

The flame-haired stalwart shared his honour with Kallis but his big milestone was actually a farewell of sorts.

His 24 propped up South Africa’s first innings and took 2/45 in his opponent’s first dig.

Yet in the second innings, the new-ball pair of Makhaya Ntini and Dale Steyn took all 10 wickets between them and slowly but surely, Polly’s importance to the Test side became less so.

Mark Boucher – vs Pakistan, Centurion 2007

Like his best mate Kallis, the legendary wicketkeeper’s 100th Test was merely a milestone.

He would still go on to play a further 47 Tests.

Boucher’s glovework was superb in this match but he only scored 2 in his only knock.

Makhaya Ntini – vs England, Centurion 2009

This was indeed a magical occasion.

South African cricket’s first genuine development product had grown into the world’s leading fast bowler and remains the country’s only non-white player to play 100 Tests.

He was typically energetic in the first innings, ending with a solid haul of 2/78 yet he wasn’t as effective after that.

Ntini only played one more Test before being rather unceremoniously dumped.

Graeme Smith – vs England, The Oval 2012

South Africa’s greatest captain deservedly experienced a fantastic 100th Test.

This was one of the Proteas’ greatest performances ever – winning by an innings and 12 runs.

Smith had set up the magnificent victory with a bruising 131, becoming only the seventh man in history to score a hundred in his 100th Test.

Later on, he was overshadowed by Hashim Amla making an unbeaten 311 but he can nonetheless reminisce fondly.

AB de Villiers – vs India, Bangalore 2015

The dynamic strokemaker’s achievement was about the only highlight in a thoroughly depressing Test series for the Proteas – they lost 3-0.

De Villiers, a star for the Royal Challengers Bangalore side in the Indian Premier League, is a household name in the city and his reception in this game was amazing.

He played a superb, counter-attacking innings in making 85 as South Africa only made 214.

Thereafter, all the four remaining days rained out.

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