Cricket-Amla's defensive masterclass secures Surrey draw

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LONDON (Reuters) - Hashim Amla painstakingly compiled an unbeaten 37 from 278 balls in a defensive masterclass to foil Hampshire's victory bid and secure a draw for Surrey in a County Championship match at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.

Resuming on a precarious six for two after being made to follow on, Surrey finished 128-8 on Wednesday with South African Amla batting the whole day.

Amla scored only three runs from the first 100 balls he faced and notched the first of his five boundaries on the 126th.

"Every batter that went out there had a plan and (we) tried our best to just block it out," said Amla, who played 124 tests and 181 one-dayers before quitting international cricket in 2019.

"The last thing you want to do is play a couple of bad shots and the game is over by lunchtime."

Despite staving off defeat, Surrey will almost certainly fail to make Division One as one of the top six teams.

The only time Amla looked in danger was when Ian Holland dropped him at leg slip off Keith Barker when the batsman was on 30.

Amla is no stranger to dour batting displays.

He famously made 25 off 244 balls in a 2015 test in New Delhi where he and South Africa team mate AB de Villiers, who made 43 off 297 balls, fought in vain to avoid defeat to India.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Peter Rutherford)

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