Cricket: Hashim Amla blow as South Africa lose first Test


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South Africa captain Graeme Smith watched his side crash to a seven-wicket defeat against Pakistan and then revealed Hashim Amla is a doubt for the second and final Test.

The Proteas had not been beaten at Test level in two years, but that run came to an end as Pakistan dominated from the off to bowl out Smith’s men for 232 before posting a first innings total off 442.

South Africa could only muster 249 in the second inning to leave Pakistan needing 40 for the win, which they knocked off despite slumping to 7-3 early on.

Smith admitted afterwards he was disappointed with the performance but says it is now crucial they bounce back in the correct manner.

They will have to do it without Amla though as he is set to return to South Africa for the birth of his child.

Amla’s standalone century was one of the few positives, but he will be replaced by the left-handed Dean Elgar.

“We have to look at our ability to bounce back and have to improve on a few things and see how we can be more effective, and hopefully make the right decisions,” Smith said.

“Hashim is the best batsman in the world at the moment, the birth of his child is a big moment for him, and I wish him and his wife the best of luck.”

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