Kallis leads SA recovery with century

Kallis struck his third century in five tests to help SA recover from the loss of two early wickets on the opening day of the first test against India.

By (Reuters)

Published: Sat 6 Feb 2010, 11:16 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:29 AM

The 34-year-old put up 120 and shared an unbeaten third wicket stand of 187 with Hashim Amla (60), guiding the visitors to a confident 193-2 at tea after South Africa won the toss and chose to bat first.

Left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan dismissed openers Ashwell Prince for nought and skipper Graeme Smith for six in successive overs to reduce the tourists to six for two before Kallis orchestrated the recovery with his 34th test hundred.

Zaheer, who took 15 wickets in the the 2-0 test defeat of Bangladesh last month, had left-hander Prince caught behind with a wicked bouncer, although television replays suggested the ball went off Prince’s arm guard and not the gloves.

The Indian spearhead bowled Smith through the bat-pad gap with a beauty, squaring up the left-hander with a delivery that came in sharply.

Kallis, one of only eight batsmen to score over 10,000 test runs, hit 11 fours and two sixes as he moved up to join India’s Sunil Gavaskar and West Indian Brian Lara at third place in the list of most test centuries.

Only India’s Sachin Tendulkar (45) and Australian Ricky Ponting (39) have scored more.

Bulwark Kallis used his feet beautifully to the spinners and hit Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra for a six each on a VCA Stadium pitch that is expected to aid turn.

Amla batted conservatively for his second successive test fifty, scoring just five runs in the third hour, but the partnership helped build a foundation as South Africa seek a rare series victory in India to reclaim the number one test ranking.

Top-ranked India, already without experienced batsmen Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh, suffered another blow when Rohit Sharma, called up as cover for Vangipurappu Laxman, suffered an ankle injury in the warm-up.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha was handed an unexpected debut by India in the absence of both Laxman and Sharma and joins another debutant batsman, Subramaniam Badrinath, in an inexperienced middle order.

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