London: Hashim Amla emphasised his team came before personal goals on Sunday when he said he was more pleased to have put South Africa in a position to win the first Test against England than to score a record 311 not out.
Amla bettered the previous best score by a South African, 278 by team mate AB de Villiers, and became only the sixth person to score a Test triple hundred in England following Don Bradman, Leonard Hutton, John Edrich, Bobby Simpson and Graham Gooch.
"I didn't dream about getting 300, although you would love to," Amla told reporters at the end of the fourth day. "I've always been a person who never sets goals and I think that helps, because you can keep going and going without being limited by having set something up.
The South Africa batsman said he was more pleased to have put his team in a position to win the first Test.
"With my scoring rate, 300 is usually a very long way off so it only really crossed my mind when I got to 250. I was involved in the game when AB got 278, so I was aware of it, but if I had got out before that, so be it. I'm a firm believer you have just got to keep batting."
Amla, 29, is a devout Muslim and although it is the holy month of Ramadan, he said he will observe the fast when he returns home to Durban. For now, he is just enjoying the moment and was also heartened that fellow South African Ernie Els won the British Open at Royal Lytham.
"I'm just really grateful that I managed to get the highest score by a South African, but what is perhaps more pleasing is that I'm the first guy to get 300 - records will be broken, there's no doubt about that, so that comes and goes.
"But I think the biggest pleasure is that the team is in a really dominant position to win this test match. I think that's the biggest joy."