Kallis, De Villiers partnership steadies the ship for Proteas

2013-12-28 13:03

India: 334 all out (Vijay 97, Pujara 70, Rahane 51*, Steyn 6/100, Morkel 3/50)

South Africa: 181/3 (Petersen 62, Smith 47, De Villiers 39*, Kallis 26*, Jadeja 2/52, Shami 1/41)

South Africa trail by 153 runs

Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers stabilised the Proteas after three quick wickets fell in the morning session.

Kallis, who received a guard of honour and a rousing standing ovation, did not let his emotions get in the way of what could be his final test match innings.

After Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja took two wickets in successive balls, a clear head was needed with South Africa at 113/3.

They were 24 away from the follow-on mark and with the Proteas prone to cataclysmic day three collapses at Kingsmead, a clear head was needed.

With De Villiers, who took his fluency with him to Durban, Kallis made sure the Proteas went to lunch in good standing.

It took him 16 balls to get off the mark, which was a single that got the loudest applause.

The small but knowledgeable crowd knew they had to milk the Kallis test cow for all it was worth.

He rewarded them with sweetly timed boundaries. Besides his test debut disappointment, the Kingsmead crowd has witnessed many a Kallis special.

One here will take the game beyond India and force them to do a catch-up job, something they haven’t been accustomed to do.

However, they did force the Proteas into making some judgmental errors in the morning.

Captain Graeme Smith, who was untroubled by his nemesis Zaheer Khan, found a strange way to get out.

He spooned a catch to Shikhar Dhawan off a Ravindra Jadeja delivery, ending the 103-run opening stand.

Hashim Amla’s Kingsmead test continued when he had his off-stump rattled by Shami.

Petersen, who raised his seventh test half-century, perished the very next ball when he edged Jadeja to Murali Vijay at first slip. 113/3 was a precarious position but in Kallis and De Villiers, there was the surety of an unbeaten 68-run partnership.

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