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Page last updated at 17:34 GMT, Friday, 10 July 2009 18:34 UK

Amla's debut century saves Essex

CLOSE OF PLAY, FINAL DAY: Glamorgan 515-9dec, Essex 200 & 410-6(Glamorgan 12pts, Essex 7pts)

Hashim Amla
Amla has played 37 Test matches for South Africa

Hashim Amla scored a century on his debut as Essex secured an unlikely draw on the final day against Glamorgan.

The South African scored 181 as Essex closed on 410-6 in their second innings, after they had been forced to follow on 315 behind on Thursday.

The home side resumed on 133-4 and Amla was supported by James Foster (64) and Ryan ten Doeschate (88no).

It could have been so different if Gareth Rees had held on to a sharp chance offered by Amla when on 78.

Rees dropped the chance at forward short leg in Robert Croft's first over of the day.

Amla made good his escape with a series of beautifully timed strokes either side of the wicket.

Foster played his part during a partnership of 142 in 38 overs. It was broken when off-spinner Jamie Dalrymple brought himself on and in his first over knocked back Foster's off stump.

Any hopes the visitors might have entertained of making swift inroads into the innings were to disappear as Ten Doeschate settled in with Amla in another big partnership.

It yielded 153 in 42 overs, by which time Essex had forged a lead of 65.

Croft had the satisfaction of bringing Amla's resistance of nearly seven hours to an end when he trapped him leg before swinging across the line. In all he faced 327 deliveries.

Ten Doeschate could not be dislodged and he went on to finish with an unbeaten 88, his highest of the summer.

It all left the visitors having to settle for 12 points from their labours but that was sufficient to lift them above Essex in the Second Division table.

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