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Going into the tour to Bangladesh in July 2015, Hashim Amla had averaged 66. Cheap Air Force 1 .43 in his last 41 Tests, scoring 16 centuries in just 69 innings - that is a hundred every 4.3 innings. In 15 series during this period (excluding one-off Tests), he averaged 50 or more 11 times, while the average dipped below 30 only twice. In this period of 65 months (February 2010 to Jun 2015), among all batsmen who had batted more than five times in Tests - there were 266 batsmen who made this cut-off - Amlas average of 66.43 was the highest, while only Kumar Sangakkara and Alastair Cook scored more hundreds (17 each).That period of prolific run-scoring was entirely consistent with Amlas steady improvement as a batsman through this career. After an iffy start in Test cricket - he averaged 33.92 in his first 22 Tests - his numbers steadily improved through each phase: he averaged nearly 50 in his next 19 Tests, before that sustained period of excellence between 2010 and the first half of 2015. Since then, though, things have gone pear-shaped for Amla: in his last 15 Tests his average has dropped to 34.81, which is similar to the early years of his Test career. In 22 innings during this period, he has scored only two hundreds. More worryingly, he has struggled to get starts, being dismissed for single-digit scores 10 times in these 22 innings; when he was in his pomp, in the period between February 2010 and June 2015, he had only 12 such scores in 69 innings. From a 17% frequency of such scores (one every 5.75 innings), the percentage has gone up to more than 45 (one every 2.2 innings). Even allowing for the unusually difficult pitches in India in 2015-16, he still has six single-digit scores in 15 innings. In the last year and a half, Amlas contribution to the teams runs has dropped to 14%, down from more than 18% during his best years. Amlas biggest contribution in the South African top order has been his ability to soak up the pressure of an early wicket and make huge scores at No. 3, even when he has come in to bat against the new ball. He averaged 69.48 at No. 3 between February 2010 and June 2015, but in innings when the first wicket fell early, before the score reached 20, Amla averaged 88.07. Some of his highest scores during that period came after South Africa had lost an early wicket; he routinely converted the threat of an early wicket into an opportunity to bat for the longest periods possible. His highest Test score of 311 not out came after South Africa lost Alviro Petersen for a duck in the third over at The Oval in 2012; his second-highest Test score of 253 not out, against India in Nagpur in 2010, came after Ashwell Prince had been dismissed for a duck.He showed earlier this year that he still hasnt lost that ability, making 201 against England at Newlands after South Africa lost Stiaan van Zyl in the third over, but the failure rate has gone up recently. In the Durban Test against England, Amla made just seven after the fall of an early wicket, and he failed again after an early wicket in Perth and in Adelaide, in the ongoing series in Australia. The other big difference recently has been his inability to impose himself early in a series: he has averaged 16.12 in the first Test of a series in these last 18 months, scoring just 129 runs from eight innings; six times in these eight innings he has been dismissed before 15, including two ducks. Some of his runs later in the series havent been as meaningful: his 109 and 96 in Centurion came after England had already sealed the series.Between 2010 and June 2015, he was at his best in the first match of a series, averaging 85.72 in the first Test (excluding one-off matches), with eight hundreds in 26 innings. Most South African batsmen have suffered a batting slump recently - thanks in large parts to the India series - with only two of their top seven averaging more than 40, but Amlas blip seems more prominent simply because he has been so prolific and consistent for so long. It is inevitable that even the best batsmen have periods when the runs dry up, but Amlas slump has meant his average is in danger of slipping below 50.Coincidentally, the last time Amlas career average was less than 50 at the end of a Test was after the Adelaide Test of 2012, when he scored 11 and 17, which pulled his career average down from 50.37 before the game, to 49.66 after. That was Amlas 64th Test. Now, after his failure in the first innings of the ongoing Adelaide Test, Amlas career average is currently 50.15. If he is dismissed for fewer than 27 in the second innings, his end-of-Test career average will slip below 50 for the first time in four years. Even if only a temporary blip, it will feel unusual, at the very least, to see a number less than 50 in the averages column next to Amlas name. Nike Air Force 1 Cheap Outlet . LOUIS -- The New Orleans Saints looked like a team playing out the string. Cheap Air Force 1 Shoes Wholesale . The Celtics closed out their first preseason under Stevens on Wednesday night with a 101-97 victory over the Brooklyn Nets, who rested a lot of their lineup including former Celtics Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. . The Celtics closed out their first preseason under Stevens on Wednesday night with a 101-97 victory over the Brooklyn Nets, who rested a lot of their lineup including former Celtics Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. HOUSTON -- Tampa Bays David Price couldnt get his legs to stop shaking in the first inning against the Houston Astros in his return from the disabled list on Tuesday night. The AL CY Young Award winner eventually calmed down and pitched three-hit ball for seven innings in an 8-0 win over the Astros. Afterward, Price, who won 20 games last season, made a bold statement. "Thats probably the best Ive felt on a baseball field maybe in my entire life, honestly," he said. "I felt like thats the most control Ive had of a baseball game in a very long time. I think that was better than I threw the ball really at any point last year." Desmond Jennings homered and tied a career high with four RBIs to help the Rays shut out Houston for the second straight game and win their fourth in a row. Price (2-4) had missed the last 44 games with a left triceps strain in his first-ever stint on the DL. But he showed no signs of rust, allowing a season-low for hits and striking out a 2013-best 10. Eight of his strikeouts were called, which ties his career high. "He did it easily," manager Joe Maddon said. "He wasnt out there labouring. The fastball was there with good life at the end. He finished off every pitch well which means his arm felt great. Just pretty much a complete performance." Maddon had said hed be happy to get six innings out of his ace before the game, but Price was so efficient he got through seven with just 70 pitches. His low pitch count left Maddon in a quandary. "I didnt know what to do, really," he said. "I mean 70 pitches after seven innings. The up and downs matter, but youre trying to stretch the guy out pitch-count wise. Youre really caught in between right there. We felt that after the seven innings that would be enough just physically on him." Three relievers combined to finish the four-hitter, a night after the Rays two-hit the Astros. Tampa Bay hasnt allowed a run for 23 straight innings -- since Detroits Miguel Cabrera launched a homer into the Rays Touch Tank in the fourth inning on Sunday. Jennings, who finished with three hits, had a two-run single in the fourth to make it 3-0 and his two-run homer in the sixth pushed the lead to five runs. Price credited Jennings for helping him settle down after the first inning. Jennings was only joking when he asked him if he was nervous, and was shocked when he said he was shaking. "But you couldnt tell," Jennings said. "It didnt look like it. He lives for it. Hes a competitor and he loves to be out there." Houston starter Erik Bedard (3-4) yielded six hits and four runs with a season-high six walks in 5 1-3 innings. Price had a tough time in his nine starts before the injury, winning just once in that span. On Tuesday he looked crisp from the start, pitching a 1-2-3 inning before J.D. Martinez singled to start the second. But he still faced the minimum through two after Brandon Barnes grounded into a double play. He strucck out the first two in the third before a single by Jimmy Paredes, who was soon caught stealing to end the inning. Nike Air Force Ones Sale. . The 27-year-old Price really got rolling after that, retiring 12 of the last 13 batters he faced with five strikeouts. Houstons only hit in that stretch came on a single by Carlos Corporan with one out in the fifth. The Astros have been in an offensive funk lately, and havent scored in 21 consecutive innings. But that run was unearned, leaving them without an earned run in 29 innings. Theyve managed just four earned runs over the last five games. But Houston manager Bo Porter thought Tuesdays struggles were less about his team and more about Price. "I think its called, Mr. Price," Porter said when asked what was wrong with his offence. "Thats why hes a Cy Young winner. And he pitched like it tonight." Tampa Bays Evan Longoria had two singles in his return to the lineup after missing three straight games with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. The All-Star third baseman was Tampa Bays designated hitter against Houston as he continued to struggle with the condition. He was replaced by a pinch-runner after his single in the ninth. Houston had its best chance to score in the eighth with runners at first and second with no outs. But Joel Peralta replaced Jamey Wright, and he sat down the next three Astros to preserve the shutout. Yunel Escobar hit a two-run double in the ninth and James Loneys double sent him home to make it 8-0. Jennings led off with a single before Sean Rodriguez drew a walk. Longoria walked with one out and Tampa Bay took a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly by Wil Myers. Bedard limited the damage by striking out Escobar. Loney extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a one-out single in the fourth inning. Jose Molina walked before Loney advanced to third on a groundout. The single by Jennings, which sailed just out of reach of a diving Jose Altuve and into shallow right field, sent two home to extend the lead to 3-0. Molina doubled to start the sixth and Bedard was replaced by Josh Fields with one out. He was greeted by the towering homer by Jennings, which bounced high on the wall in left field, to leave Tampa Bay up 5-0. NOTES: Tuesday was the second time this season and the seventh time in franchise history that the Rays have thrown back-to-back shutouts. ... Houston 1B/DH Carlos Pena returned to the team after missing two games following the drowning death of his nephew in the Dominican Republic, but he did not play. ... The series continues on Wednesday when Houstons Bud Norris opposes Roberto Hernandez. ... Houston optioned RHP Hector Ambriz to Triple-A Oklahoma City and recalled LHP Brett Oberholtzer from there on Tuesday. ... The Rays optioned INF Ryan Roberts to Triple-A Durham on Tuesday to make room for Price on the roster. ... RHP Mark Appel, the No. 1 overall selection by Houston in the 2013 draft, will make his professional debut on Friday with Class-A Tri-City. Wholesale China Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale Authentic Jerseys Nike NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Nike Basketball Jerseys Hockey Jerseys China Supply Baseball Jerseys Football Jerseys Sale Authentic College Jerseys MLB Jerseys China Stitched Soccer Jerseys Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap Nike Jerseys ' ' '