Amla praises Prince | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 21, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 21, 2008

Amla praises Prince

Hashim Amla paid tribute to fellow batsman Ashwell Prince after the South Africa vice-captain's second hundred in as many matches against England steered the Proteas into a commanding position in the second Test here at Headingley.
Prince, at stumps on Saturday's second day, was 134 not out in a total of 322 for four that left South Africa with an overnight lead of 119.
He had so far added 179 with AB de Villiers (70 not out) for the fifth wicket after South Africa had been 143 for four in reply to England's first innings 203 all out.
Prince's ninth hundred at this level followed his 101 in the first innings of the drawn first Test at Lord's.
"I think his temperament is superb and he keeps the game quite simple," Amla said of Prince. "That's basically his biggest trait.
"He's batting very well at the moment on key occasions for us and he's produced two fantastic knocks."
Amla, who also made a century at Lord's, was the only man dismissed Saturday when lbw for 38 to England's Australia-raised but Grimsby-born debutant pace bowler Darren Pattinson.
South Africa have been a transformed team since being made to follow-on at Lord's and have so far piled up 715 runs for the loss of seven wickets since being bowled out for just 247 in their first innings of this four-Test series. Amla, asked what had changed, replied: "At Lord's, in the first innings maybe we didn't apply ourselves as well. Maybe we were a little overwhelmed.
"But in this Test, we were battle-hardened. We just tried to up the tempo."
England have spent 365 overs in the field during the past five days, with just a three-day break between the first two Tests.
"All I know is that I would be feeling stiff," said Amla. "It does feel close, especially when you spend one day travelling, but I understand this is the nature of international cricket.
"It's a tough school and at the end of the day you've got to be fit enough to deal with it."
Pattinson's selection has proved controversial.
Both England's 2005 Ashes-winning spearhead quick Stephen Harmison, dropped from the side after the first Test defeat away to New Zealand in March, and former captain Graham Gooch have questioned Pattinson's call-up when there were 'more English' alternatives available.
But England bowling coach Ottis (attn eds: correct) Gibson, defended the 29-year-old's dramatic rise to international status after just 11 previous first-class matches by saying: "We knew we had hit-the-deck bowlers and the reports on Darren were that he pitches the ball up and swings it.
"That's what we felt we needed for this game."
Meanwhile Andrew Flintoff, in his first Test after 18 months out with ankle and side injuries, has already sent down 28 overs -- a figure equalled amongst the England attack only by his fellow Lancashire quick James Anderson.
This has raised concerns that Flintoff, who has had four operations on his left ankle, may be heading for fresh injury problems.
But Gibson said: "We don't want to bowl him into the ground. It is something we will continue to monitor... he's in good shape at the minute."

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