Amla the star again for South Africa

Congleton Guardian: Hashim Amla, right, hit an unbeaten 47 as South Africa finished 77-5 in a match reduced to nine overs per side Hashim Amla, right, hit an unbeaten 47 as South Africa finished 77-5 in a match reduced to nine overs per side

Hashim Amla proved his mastery of English bowling extends to all formats with a rapid unbeaten 47 for South Africa in the rain-affected second NatWest International Twenty20 clash at Old Trafford.

The prolific South African has dominated England's bowling all summer and, returning after a brief rest, continued in the same vein in a match reduced to nine overs per side.

Batting at much higher tempo but with all his usual authority, Amla - although dropped on 31 - hit seven fours as he helped the tourists to 77 for five from their allocation.

Amla opened the batting after a rethink during a delay to play of two-and-a-quarter hours. Jacques Kallis had initially accompanied Richard Levi to the crease for the scheduled start but it began to rain as Steven Finn prepared to bowl the first ball.

Kallis was kept waiting as the game began at a frantic pace with Finn having Levi caught behind by Craig Kieswetter down the legside off the first ball.

Amla took control by flashing hard and after the three-over powerplay South Africa had 32 runs on the board, but by then captain AB de Villiers had also gone, miscuing a pull to Jade Dernbach at mid-on off Finn. As has been a recurring quirk this season, Finn dislodged a bail in his delivery stride but unlike previous occasions - and another moments later - dead ball was not called.

England started to slow the rate with the introduction of Graeme Swann in the fourth over. Albie Morkel was the next man out when he failed to clear Jonny Bairstow at cover off the bowling of the recalled Luke Wright.

Amla had a reprieve when he was badly dropped by Eoin Morgan off Swann but the bowler himself showed how it should be done by running back to catch JP Duminy one-handed next ball.

Kieswetter claimed his second catch to remove Justin Ontong off Dernbach before Kallis finally came to the crease at number seven. Kallis had a fortunate escape when one shot landed just short of Dernbach but was unbeaten on 13 at the end of the innings as rain started to fall again.

Wright had come into the side to replace the out-of-form Ravi Bopara, whose position had been the subject of much scrutiny ahead of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

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