India Defend After Kallis Farewell Century - The New Indian Express

India Defend After Kallis Farewell Century

Published: 29th December 2013 02:53 PM

Last Updated: 29th December 2013 10:49 PM

A farewell century by Jacques Kallis and a thumping half-century by tailender Robin Peterson gave South Africa the advantage and left India battling to save the second test and the series at Kingsmead on Sunday.

Jacques Kallis waves his bat as he salutes the fans after dismissed for 115 runs | AP
After Kallis signed off in test cricket with 115 and a 45th career century, Peterson hit nine fours and a switch-hit for six in his lively 61 off 52 balls and South Africa was 500 all out early in the day's final session for a lead off 166.

India defended for the majority of the final session to battle to 68-2 in its second innings at stumps, 98 behind with Cheteshwar Pujara facing 90 balls for his 32 not out. Virat Kohli was 11 not out but South Africa backed up its batting with the wickets of openers Murali Vijay for 6 and Shikhar Dhawan for 19 to a leaping one-handed catch by Faf du Plessis.

The retiring Kallis completed his century in the morning session for an emotional goodbye to the long format for South Africa's most successful batsman. It also moved him up to third in test cricket's all-time leading run-scorers — by just a single run. He was hugged by most of his teammates following what could be his final innings in tests, when he batted for more than six hours for one more hundred.

After that, Peterson shared a stroke-filled 110-run stand with Du Plessis (43) as South Africa scored quickly in an attempt to give itself a chance of a victory with time running out in veteran allrounder Kallis' 166th and final test.

South Africa's bowlers broke through early when Vernon Philander removed India's first-innings top-scorer Vijay with an outside edge to Graeme Smith at first slip. Du Plessis' superb catch at short mid-wicket sent Dhawan back less than 10 overs before the close.

With an expectant crowd, Kallis went to three figures with a nudge to mid-on and celebrated by removing his helmet and lifting both arms in the air as he faced the team dressing room. He was out to spinner Ravindra Jadeja, who had a career-best 6-138 for India.

As Kallis walked off waving his bat to the crowd, members of the South African team came out of the dressing room and down the stairs toward the field to hug him one by one. Captain Graeme Smith kissed the 38-year-old allrounder on the side of the head and then carried Kallis' bat and gloves into the changing room.

Kallis' century also took him past Rahul Dravid and up to the third-highest run-getter in tests behind India's Sachin Tendulkar and Australia's Ricky Ponting. He needed exactly 115 in his last test before retiring to overtake former India batsman Dravid.

Top-ranked South Africa took charge of the series-decider against No. 2 India with Kallis' anchoring innings at the same ground in Durban where he made his debut as a 20-year-old prodigy in 1995. After South Africa slipped to 113-3 on the third day, he had successive partnerships of 127 with AB de Villiers (74), 58 with JP Duminy and a stand of 86 with nightwatchman Dale Steyn, who made 44.

Peterson then unleashed a flurry of boundaries against the new ball after lunch, and Du Plessis also chipped in with four fours before he was run out for 43 by a direct hit from Rohit Sharma. Morne Morkel was caught and bowled by Jadeja for a duck to end the South African innings and give the slow left-armer his best return in tests.

Straight after passing Dravid and going to 13,289 career test runs, Kallis had attempted a big heave to the legside off Jadeja and top-edged to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the first wicket of the day. Kallis faced 316 balls and hit 13 fours in an innings that began early on Saturday morning.

Jadeja continued to be India's main threat and bowled a marathon 58.2 overs for his six-wicket haul. Seamer Zaheer Khan had India's other two wickets on the fourth day when Steyn, trying to clatter an eighth boundary, edged behind to Dhoni three overs after Kallis had gone. Peterson skied a catch to Murali Vijay at mid-on off Khan to end an entertaining and sometimes fortunate knock. Du Plessis was run out in a mix-up with Philander as South Africa's innings ended quickly after tea.

Kallis announced on Christmas Day that it would be his final test, taking many by surprise to end the career of South Africa's best player and one of the game's outstanding allrounders. He said he would remain available for limited-overs internationals in an attempt at a final swansong at the 2015 World Cup.

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