In the process he broke the previous South Africa individual Test innings record of teammate AB de Villiers, who made 278 not out against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in November 2010.
Amla was on 311 not out when South Africa captain Graeme Smith declared his side’s first innings on a mammoth 637 for two; a lead of 252 runs.
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.
Leading Test scores by South Africa batsmen:
Hashim Amla 311 no v England The Oval 2012
AB de Villiers 278 no v Pakistan Abu Dhabi 2010
Graeme Smith 277 v England Birmingham 2003
Daryll Cullinan 275 no v New Zealand Auckland 1999
Gary Kirsten 275 v England Durban 1999
Graeme Pollock 274 v Australia Durban 1970