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08 December 2023

Kallis puts South Africa in control

Hashim Amla, left, and Jacques Kallis running between the wickets during the first day of the Test match. (AP)

By Reuters

Jacques Kallis struck his third hundred in five Tests and shared a double century stand with Hashim Alma to put South Africa in control of the first Test against India yesterday.

Kallis crafted a magnificent 159 and added an unbroken 285 for the third wicket with Amla, who scored 115, to help the visitors reach 291 for two after winning the toss.

Left-arm seamer 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 2-0 series win over Bangladesh last month, had left-hander Prince caught behind with a wicked bouncer, although television replays suggested the ball came off the batsman's arm guard.

The Indian spearhead bowled Smith through the gate with a beauty, squaring up the left-hander with a delivery that came in sharply, but the hosts enjoyed no further success as Kallis took control.

Kallis, one of only eight batsmen to score over 10,000 Test runs, hit 13 fours and two sixes as he joined India's Sunil Gavaskar and West Indian Brian Lara in third place on the list of most Test centuries.

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

Kallis used his feet beautifully to the spinners and hit Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra for sixes, although it was his cover drive off medium-pacer Ishant Sharma that stood out for the sheer precision of the shot.

Amla batted conservatively before opening out to reach his eighth hundred, giving the South Africans the upper hand.


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