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Record stand puts Proteas in command

Sunday, July 22, 2012

LONDON, England (AFP) — Graeme Smith built on a remarkable record of success in England as he and Hashim Amla put South Africa in control on the third day of the first Test match against England at the Oval yesterday.

Smith hit a century in his 100th Test and Amla batted for nine hours and nine minutes to make 183 not out as South Africa reached 403-2 at the close, a lead of 18 runs with eight wickets standing

Smith (131) and Amla put on a record 259 for the second wicket and there was no respite for the bowlers as Jacques Kallis (82 not out) joined Amla in an unbeaten third wicket stand of 143.

On a slow, dry pitch, offering some variable bounce and turn for the spinners, Smith and Amla dug in and played risk-free cricket to grind down England's bowling attack. Their partnership was two runs higher than the mark set by Smith and current coach Gary Kirsten at Lord's in 2003.

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