Proteas

Amla praises De Villiers, Steyn

AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn celebrate ten years since their Test debuts. (Gallo)
AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn celebrate ten years since their Test debuts. (Gallo)

Johannesburg - Following a mammoth innings and 220 run win over the West Indies before lunch on day four of the first Test in Centurion, Proteas captain Hashim Amla said the result was a fitting tribute to AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn.

The match marked the 10 year anniversary of the two players making their debut for their country in the format against England in Port Elizabeth.

Read: As it happened - Day 4

De Villiers with 152 in the Proteas first innings and Steyn with 6/34 in the West Indies second innings, were both key performers as South Africa dominated their opponents.

"It was a fitting game for Steyn and AB. It's wonderful for something like this to happen to two guys who are stalwarts in the team," Amla said after the match.

"They're exceptional team men, always taking the team to greater heights on and off the field. I'm really proud they got to experience something special on a ten year anniversary."

Amla gained the unique accolade of the highest score for a South African captain on home soil with his 208 on day two, but it was the seven wickets in 7.3 overs from Steyn on day four that stole the headlines in a devastating display of fast bowling to end the match.

The visitors collapsed from 76 for two overnight to 131 all out, handing South Africa a massive victory margin.

"I didn't expect seven wickets in a session.

"We saw the wicket was getting a bit difficult to bat on. It was exceptional bowling from Dale that started the tumble. We're really happy we've got a day and a bit to rest now."

The 31-year-old Steyn had bowled five balls in the West Indies second innings, in the final session on day three, before pulling up with a tight groin.

He left the field for 45 minutes and did not bowl again in the evening, but returned in emphatic fashion on day four.

"He did say it was cramps. He went away overnight, carbo-loaded a little bit and came back strong," said Amla.

"I don't think many people appreciate how difficult it is to be a bowler in this format. We saw it was exceptional bowling, any team would have found it difficult to handle Dale and Vern this morning."

The only negative for South Africa in the match was that Proteas wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock was ruled out of the remainder of the series, including three T20Is and five ODIs, after injuring his ankle in a warmup before play on day three on Friday.

The injury placed doubt over De Kock's fitness for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in February.

South Africa now head to Port Elizabeth for the Boxing Day Test against the West Indies, before moving to Cape Town for the third and final Test starting on January 2.

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