In the process, he broke the previous South African individual Test innings record of team-mate AB de Villiers, who made 278 not out against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in November 2010.
Amla scored an unbeaten 311 while Jacques Kallis left stranded on 182 as South Africa declared at 637 for two at tea; a first innings lead of 252. Amla and Kallis put on an unbeaten 377 for the third wicket, a record for South Africa against England.
South Africa’s declaration left England with a potential 43 overs to see out before close of play on a dry, wearing pitch.
At close on Day Four, England were reeling at 102 for four. Ian Bell (14) and Ravi Bopara (15) were the two unbeaten batsmen.
In all, Amla faced 529 balls and struck 35 fours in what was the 29-year-old’s 15th Test century, which far exceeded his previous personal highest of 253 not out against India at Nagpur in 2010.