Amla rates century his second best

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> South Africa's centurion says this innings was second to his career-saving 176 against New Zealand last year.

Updated: April 15, 2008 12:14 IST
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Hashim Amla has just one fifty in 13 previous innings on subcontinental pitches, but the South African does not rate his 159 against India in hot and humid condition as the best knock of his career.

Amla considers his 220-ball knock today as the second best after his unbeaten 176 against New Zealand last year.

"It is difficult to score a century in sub-continental conditions. But I rate my performance today as the second best after my 176 against New Zealand last year in Johannesburg because my career depended on it at that time," he said, after propelling his side to 540 in their first innings.

"Today's 159 is also a worthy one since it is away from home. This is my first against India and it definitely give me confidence," he added.

Amla was disappointed to have run out after settling well, but said such things happen in cricket.

"Mark Boucher was more disappointed," he quipped.

The bearded South African of Indian descent sympathized with bowlers who had to do lots of work on a batsman-friendly track at Chepauk.

"It is a lot of hard work for bowlers. We knew that it would be good to bat on. We are hoping that it starts to go up and down and then the wicket will take spin," Amla said.

Amla said that several youth tours to India helped prepare for this batting effort in Chennai.

"Lot of players in our team had been on 'A' tours here and we know the conditions before coming here," he said.

Amla expressed surprise at India captain Anil Kumble not taking the new ball on Wednesday, saying, "We expected the new ball to be taken straight away. I did not understand why it was not done."

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