Hashim Amla took his career to yet another new high when he was named MTN man of the series when the three-match series finished at East London’s Buffalo Park on Wednesday.
The final match was abandoned without a ball being bowled after heavy overnight and morning rain left the outfield totally flooded.
The Proteas ODI squad thus won the series 2-0 to confirm their ranking as the number two team on the LG ICC world rankings behind Australia.
Amla has won two man of the match awards in recent ODIs against Kenya at the De Beers Diamond Oval and against Bangladesh at Willowmoore Park. On the latter occasion, his10th ODI, he scored his maiden limited overs century and took his career strike rate above the 90 percent mark.
Amla only made his ODI debut this year when he stood in for Jacques Kallis in the series in Bangladesh and then stood in for Graeme Smith in the away series against England, the home series against Kenya and the first match of the home series against Bangladesh. In the last two matches he has stood in for Herschelle Gibbs.
But there is little doubt that he has now come to stay in the ODI squad.
Amla is undoubtedly one of the most improved batsmen in world cricket over the past year. In the last 13 months he has made 829 runs in 11 Test matches at an average of 48.76. Two of his four centuries have been made in testing away fixtures against India at Chepauk, Chennai, and against England at Lord’s.
“I am very happy to have won this award,” Amla commented. “I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to open the batting in the ODI side. It is a big boost to my one-day career and I am looking to build on this start in the matches ahead when we play Australia in this format of the game early next year.”
Captain Graeme Smith expressed his delight with the way the series had gone. “From a personal point of view I am delighted and relieved to be back on the field again and back in the runs. In the team context it is always nice to start the season with a win and we must now turn our focus to winning the Test series against Bangladesh before we take on Australia.”