Friday, April 4, 2008

The Hindu News Update Service

Kallis, de Villiers cement South Africa's position

Ahmedabad (PTI): Jacques Kallis and A B de Villiers cemented South Africa's already dominant position with a record fifth wicket 189-run stand to take the visitors to 306 for four at lunch in the second cricket Test against India here on Friday.

The duo, who joined forces on Thursday when the visitors were 117 for four replying to the Indian first innings total of 76, faced 279 balls during the stand, leaving the visitors ahead of the home team by 230 runs.

At lunch, Kallis was unbeaten on 97, three short of his 30th Test century, while the more attacking de Villiers, who completed his fifth ton and first against India in the last over before lunch, was on 102.

The duo's unfinished stand overhauled the previous fifth-wicket best of 164 between Kallis and Lance Klusener against the hosts done at Bangalore during the 1999-2000 visit by the Proteas.

The well-settled pair, which resumed at the overnight 223 for four, was hardly troubled by the Indian bowlers in the opening hour of play, barring once when Kallis was nearly bowled off his gloves.

Kallis was lucky that the ball hit the stumps without disturbing the bails when he batted against off spinner Harbhajan Singh, the hosts' most penetrative bowler on Thursday.

Later, the burly all-rounder survived a close leg before appeal when trying to pull Indian pacer S Sreesanth. TV replays indicated he could have been declared out.

Kallis and de Villiers added 83 runs in 29 overs in the session, with the former scoring 37 and the more enterprising de Villiers adding 43 to slowly take the match away from India's grasp.

In the first over after drinks, de Villiers, who once again showed fleetness of foot to negotiate the spinners, survived a run-out attempt when on 89 in 270 for four.

The batsman tapped R P Singh to the vacant fine leg position and, after a yes-no with partner Kallis, was trying to scamper to the non-striker's end when Mahendra Singh Dhoni collected the ball and threw it wide of the bowler whose aim at the stumps after a dive was way off the mark.

At lunch, the powerfully built Kallis had hit 11 fours and a six, while facing 223 balls and staying for 287 minutes at the crease.

The Indian attack looked mostly clueless. The pacers tried to dig the ball in on the slow pitch offering low bounce and were hammered with pull shots by the 32-year-old Kallis.

The rub of the green also seemed to go against their attempts to come back into the game after having become the first team from the country to be bowled out in the first session of a Test match on Thursday.




The Hindu News Update Service

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