New Delhi: It seems like South African batsmen have made the habit of breaking records and is now closely following India's Virat Kohli. After AB de Villiers slammed the fastest fifty, hundred and 150 in the space of a month, Hashim Amla broke Virat Kohli's record to become the fastest to reach 20 hundreds.
Amla was dropped by Ed Joyce off the bowling of Kevin O'Brien on 10, but he motored along against a hapless Irish attack as South Africa took control to race away to the massive total of 411/4 on the board in Group B clash in the World Cup. Indian batting star Kohli had taken 133 innings to get to the landmark. Kohli, five years younger than the 31-year-old Amla, has played 153 ODIs, while the Proteas opener has now played 111 ODIs.
South African captain AB de Villiers had reached the landmark in his 175th match, while batting record holder Sachin Tendulkar achieved it in his 197th match.
Amla eventually fell for 159, ironically caught by Joyce at long-off.
Amla has been a prolific scorer for the South Africans but his form in the first two matches in the World Cup was worrying. He had managed 11 against Zimbabwe in their opening clash - his early dismissal triggered a collapse before the duo of JP Duminy and David Miller revived the Proteas.
In a fourth World Cup clash against India, while chasing 308, Amla was expected to provide South Africa with a rollicking start, but he perished to the medium pace of Mohit Sharma for 22. However, he was determined to turn the tide in his favour and responded with an important 65 against the West Indies in initially challenging conditions.
The match against Ireland gave Amla the perfect opportunity to finally get a hundred in the ongoing World Cup and stamp his class, albeit against a lesser opposition.