Sport

Jacques is the man!

South African batsman stars on third day of India Test

Sunday, December 29, 2013    

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DURBAN, South Africa (AFP) — Jacques Kallis, playing in his final Test match, ground out an unbeaten 78 after South Africa lost three wickets in quick succession on the third day of the second and final Test against India at Kingsmead yesterday.

South Africa were 299 for five, 35 runs behind India's first innings total of 334, when rain brought an early close.

Kallis received a standing ovation from the crowd and a guard of honour from the Indian players when he walked out to bat after Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla had been dismissed for 47 and three respectively.

Before he faced a ball, Alviro Petersen was caught at slip for 62 off a ball from Ravindra Jadeja which bounced more than Petersen expected.

Left-arm spinner Jadeja put a clamp on the scoring rate and picked up four for 87 in 37 overs. It was one of Kallis'slower innings as he batted for 274 minutes, facing 224 balls and hitting ten fours.

But Petersen said the veteran had played the ideal innings as South Africa sought to eke out a first-innings lead and then try to put pressure on India in the second innings.

Petersen said the way Kallis played showed he could continue on in test cricket.

Kallis, who announced before the match that he would retire from Test cricket, shared a fourth wicket partnership of 127 with AB de Villiers (74) after South Africa lost three wickets for 10 runs to be wobbling at 113 for three.

Most of the enterprise came from De Villiers, who continued in a rich vein of form which has taken him to the top of both the Test and one-day international batting rankings. He hit nine boundaries in a 117-ball innings.

But after De Villiers was caught at slip off Jadeja, the scoring rate almost ground to a halt with Kallis taking no chances.

It was important from a team point of view, too, that South Africa secured a first innings lead on a pitch on which Jadeja gained turn and occasional unexpected bounce.

Kallis and JP Duminy (28) added 58 runs off 176 balls, a scoring rate of just under two runs an over, as Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni set defensive fields and declined to take the second new ball, with the batsmen finding it difficult to be assertive against accurate slow bowling in deteriorating light.

Kallis advanced to a half-century off 131 balls when he cut Jadeja for four shortly after De Villiers was dismissed.

It was the 103rd time in 166 Tests that Kallis had scored 50 or more, with 44 of those innings converted into centuries.

But it was his first Test half-century in eight innings, going back to a match against Pakistan in Johannesburg in February.

He gave a sharp chance to Shikhar Dhawan at silly mid-off against Jadeja when he was on 74.

Jadeja bowled impressively in only his sixth Test, with tight control.

Jadeja said the wicket of De Villiers was very important in the game.

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