Amla beats long-standing Richards record

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Batsman Hashim Amla was characteristically modest in welcoming a superb milestone during South Africa's 134-run victory – and unassailable two-nil series lead – over India in Sunday's second ODI at Kingsmead in Durban.

Batsman Hashim Amla was characteristically modest in welcoming a superb milestone during South Africa's 134-run victory – and unassailable two-nil series lead – over India in Sunday's second ODI at Kingsmead in Durban.

An outstanding 194-run century between Amla and fellow centurion Quinton de Kock set up a solid final total of 280 for six, after which the Indians fell to 146 all out in 35.1 overs.

De Kock and Amla's prolific alliance saw the latter become the fastest to reach 4,000 runs in ODI cricket. What former West Indian captain Viv Richards achieved in 88 innings, Amla did in 81.

"I feel a bit embarrassed to have it because Sir Viv Richards is certainly the master blaster, the original great batsman," said Amla.

"He is more deserving than anyone else. I have met him on a few occasions, so it makes even more embarrassing. It would be befitting if he was ahead.

"Whatever the case be, there is a lot of ODI cricket these days and no doubt someone else will come along and beat that and the game will just carry on."

The Proteas' opening pair welcomed a second successive 150-plus stand, having collected 152 in the first ODI at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, where de Kock amassed a career-best 135 in a 141-run win.

"My partnership with Quinton was very vital. He has been batting beautifully. We have kind of clicked a bit. We have kind of got something going," added Amla.

"He has come a long way from the time we were in Sri Lanka, and there were a few doubts about his ability opening the batting against spin.

"But against Pakistan and against India here he has shown he has got all attributes to be a great player. He scores quickly, he has got great thinking when he is batting.

"I was telling someone else that I have been blown away by the fact that he has got a great calmness when he bats. So it has been a good experience."

The third and final will get underway in Centurion on Wednesday. The South Africans and Indians will then commence a two-Test series.

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