Proteas in control

Updated: July 22, 2012

Centuries of enormous composure by Hashim Amla and Graeme Smith led South Africa to 403 for two and froze England out of the game on the third day of the first test at the Oval in London on Saturday.

Starting the day on 86 for one in reply to England’s 385, Smith and Amla batted with cool assurance and, with Jacques Kallis adding 82 not out at the end of the day, the Proteas completed one of their proudest days in many years.

Smith, with the pressure of expectation in his 100th test adding to all the other burdens he bears so splendidly, marched to his century two balls before lunch, after four-and-a-half hours and 201 balls at the crease. South Africa’s captain and pride became just the seventh batsman to score a hundred in his 100th test, joining the illustrious club of Colin Cowdrey, Gordon Greenidge, Javed Miandad, Alec Stewart, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Ricky Ponting

South Africa 403 for 2 (Amla 183*, Kallis 82*) lead England 385 by 18 runs.