Unbeaten centuries from Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla give South Africa a commanding lead over India at Centurion.
|South African batsmen Jacques Kallis (L) and AB de Villiers (R) devastated the Indian bowling attack [AFP]|
Things are looking grim for India, as Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers piled on the misery for the visitors, taking South Africa’s lead on day three of the first test match to a mammoth 484 runs.
India were 190 for the loss of two wickets by the close of play, but still trail by 294 runs , with two full days, and a South African innings, left to play.
Kallis finally put to rest his quest for a maiden double century, hitting a masterful 201, as the Proteas took the game by the scruff of the neck early in the day.
Kallis’ innings included 15 boundaries and five sixes, and he batted for six-and-a-half hours, facing 267 balls. The 35-year-old now has 11,650 runs in 242 test innings – before today, he had been the only batsman of the top 15 runscorers in test matches not to have scored a double century.
South Africa’s innings also owed much to a vibrant knock from AB de Villiers, who hit South Africa’s fastest test century, hitting the 100 run mark off just 75 deliveries. His scintillating innings came to an end when he edged a big drive off Indian seamer Ishant Sharma to wicketkeeper and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, prompting the declaration with the Proteas at a commanding 620 for 4.
India, needing to bat out more than seven sessions to save the match, made a quick start to their innings, with openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir appearing determined to play positively.
The pair took the visitors to 92 without loss in 17 overs at tea, with both batsmen surviving run out scares. Sehwag, dropped on 34 by Hashim Amla, seemed determined to make up for his first innings duck, slashing and driving forcefully to make 63.
He was eventually dismissed when he skied a shot off spinner Paul Harris to the South African skipper Graeme Smith at deep cover.
Gambhir went on to make 80, but he too was dismissed before the close of play, caught lbw to one that kept low from South African quick Dale Steyn.
Earlier in the day, South Africa resumed their innings at 366 for two, with Amla, Kallis and De Villiers all taking the lacklustre Indian bowlers to task. They hit 225 runs in just 36 overs in the morning session, asserting their dominance on the game.
India’s only success came when Amla, who had cruised to 140, edged a terrible delivery that was slipping down the legside to ‘keeper Dhoni off Ishant Sharma.