Guwahati, Saturday, December 18, 2010

Unbeaten centuries from Kallis, Amla agonise India

 CENTURION, Dec 17 (IANS): Unbeaten centuries from Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis powered South Africa to a mammoth 366 for two in the first innings against India on the second day of the first cricket Test here Friday.

 At close, Amla was batting on 116 and Kallis 102 as South Africa opened up a lead of 230 runs after wrapping India's first innings for 136 with the first three balls of the day at the Super Sport Park.

Skipper Graeme Smith (62) and Alviro Petersen (77) gave South Africa a great start with their 111-run stand for the first wicket. Both fell to off-spinner Harbhajan Singh as none of the fast bowlers made any impression barely a day after the host's pacers wreaked havoc on the rain-curtailed opening day.

Smith set the tone for the chase in the very first over after he hit Sreesanth for a four off the fourth ball of the innings. In the next five overs, Indian fast bowlers Sreesanth and Ishant Sharma bowled a steady line and length as South Africa managed just three runs.

But as the moisture in the pitch dried out, runs flowed thick and fast.

Smith got to his half-century in style, a late cut off Harbhajan racing away for a four. Two balls later, Smith again attacked Harbhajan, stepping out and driving the off-spinner for a four through mid-wicket. In the next over, Smith again swept Harbahajan for a four to the deep square leg boundary. Harbhajan, however, took revenge after he dismissed Smith in the next over, caught behind by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Petersen and Amla were then involved in a 55-run stand. Petersen, who hit nine fours and one six in 114 balls, got an inside edge on to the pad and Gautam Gambhir took a simple catch off Harbhajan.

Amla and Kallis then agonised the Indian bowlers with some power hitting. Amla made the best of the life that he got on 10 when Dhoni dropped him off Harbhajan. On the very next delivery, Amla lifted the spinner for a huge six over deep midwicket. He hit nine fours and six in his 180-ball stay.

Kallis came down hard on part-time spinner Suresh Raina, who gave away 27 runs from his three overs. Kallis smacked Raina's third ball for a six and in the next over again hit him for a four and a six, prompting Dhoni to take him out of the attack.

Kallis got to his 38th Test century by punching Sreesanth for a two through the covers and in the next over, Amla pulled Sharma for a four to bring up his 12th Test ton.

In the morning, fast bowler Morne Morkel took just three balls to wrap up the Indian innings by trapping Dhoni leg before wicket for 33. Morkel finished with his Test-best figures of five for 20 from 18.4 overs.