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Kallis ton lifts South Africa
Deepti Patwardhan | November 22, 2006 22:20 IST
A solid, unbeaten century from Jacques Kallis saw South Africa post a healthy 248 for eight against India in the second one-day international at Kingsmead, Durban, on Wednesday.
The 31-year-old, 119 not out, led a South African revival after the team got off to an ordinary start.
Zaheer Khan, on a comeback trail, had reduced the hosts to 63 for three, before Kallis and AB deVilliers (41) steadied the innings in an 87-run partnership.
The Indian pacers, Zaheer, Munaf Patel and Ajit Agarkar claimed two wickets each to keep a check on South African scoring.
As crucial was Sachin Tendulkar's clever spell, nine overs for 36 runs, in the middle, which did not let South Africa run away with the momentum.
Kallis, though scoring a shade slower, was the only easing factor in the stop-start batting effort by the Proteas.
South Africa innings
Zaheer Khan, playing his first match since February, grabbed the wicket of South Africa captain Graeme Smith in his first over. Starting with two wides, he hit the deck short of length and got the ball to seam into the left-hander and trap him leg before wicket.
Zaheer bowled with pace and fire to make a striking return to the team. Having impressed in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, he again found the hard pitch in Durban to his liking. Though he gave away a few runs in his opening spell (36 in 6 overs), he got India the crucial early wickets.
The left-arm paceman also claimed Loots Bosman lbw in the 10th over. Having thrashed a shot and wide delivery over point, Bosman fell to a fuller next delivery and was caught unprepared by the bowler.
Munaf Patel helped Zaheer by keeping a tight line and bowling to his field form the other end. The result: South Africa was never let off the hook in powerplays.
Out-of-form Herschelle Gibbs could not weigh in his contribution either; he was caught behind off Munaf for an edgy two, off 14 balls.
Even though South Africa were creaking at 82 for three after 20 overs, Jacques Kallis' composure was unsettling for the Indians. His experience, technique and attitude presented a daunting task for the bowlers. He went about his task clinically, prodding the gaps, getting in the odd boundaries and steering the team clear of further damage.
The South African batsmen, Kallis and AB DeVilliers, made the most of the small ground against the Indian slower bowlers. After completing their 50-run partnership, the two batsmen took charge of the bowling to record a string of boundaries. Though Kallis was circumspect against Sachin Tendulkar (introduced in 21st over) in the beginning, he opened up to score more freely and cracked two boundaries in the 29th over.
DeVillers, meanwhile, took Harbhajan Singh to task in the next over. He swept the off-spinner for four and followed it up with a slog for six over mid-wicket; Harbhajan conceded five wides on the next ball as South Africa went on to gather 17 runs from the over. From 99 for three after 25 overs, South Africa jumped to 136 in the space of five overs.
In 10 overs, Kallis and DeVilliers had turned the tide in South Africa's favour.
A flight of adventure from the latter pulled them back a little. The batsman tried to reverse sweep Dinesh Mongia, but missed the ball completely and could not get back into the crease in time as Mahendra Singh Dhoni dislodged the bails.
Tendulkar, filling in as the fifth bowler, did a remarkable job, conceding only 36 runs in his nine overs.
South Africa had been going at a steady rate but needed a push to give India a more than competitive total. Kallis, looking for his 14th ODI hundred, also slowed down considerably once in the 80s.
They had a short spurt of 22 runs in two overs as Zaheer conceded 12 runs in his first over on return and Mark Boucher spanked successive boundaries off Munaf.
The hosts suffered a blow, losing Boucher (23 off 21 balls), Justin Kemp and Shaun Pollock in quick succession. But Kallis, finishing at 119 not out off 160 balls, carried the team through.
With the help of Andre Nel's muscle, Kallis helped South Africa score 40 runs in the last five overs. Nel took the attack to the Indians, hitting two fours and a six to edge South Africa closer to 250.
The innings ended in anti-climax as Nel (22 runs in 12 balls) was run-out at the non-striker's end trying to back up. Kallis hit the ball straight to Agarkar; his partner strolling on the middle of the pitch. Nel made no effort to return as the bowlers coolly took off the bails.
India's tour of South Africa 2006: The Complete Coverage
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