South Africa tighten grip on Test

Unbeaten centuries from Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla give South Africa a commanding lead over India at Centurion.

Harbhajan Singh, left, was the only Indian bowler to have any success on day two [AFP]

Unbeaten centuries from Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla cemented South Africa’s control over an inconsistent India on the second day of the first Test at Centurion.

Amla made 116 not out and Kallis 102 not out as South Africa closed on 366 for two on Friday, as India’s bowlers struggled to defend their batsmen’s paltry first innings total of 135 all out.

Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, debutant Jaidev Unadkat and Ishant Sharma all failed to extract any life from the surface, despite South Africa’s bowlers prospering a day earlier.

“We’re way behind in this game, that’s pretty obvious,” India batsman Rahul Dravid said, “And we’re going to have to bat really well in the second innings to save this Test. But, we’ve been in situations like this before.

“It’s a learning experience for our bowlers and they did the best they could. We tried a lot of things but they didn’t work and South Africa batted really well.”

Kallis breezed to his 38th Test century off just 130 balls in three hours, stroking nine elegant fours and hammering three sixes.

Amla, who passed 1,000 runs against India in his 10th Test against the world’s number one ranked team, survived a number of scares to score his 12th test century and sixth this year.

Harbhajan Singh (2-107) was the only India bowler to have any success on day two when he removed openers Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen, but only after both had made half-centuries and had given South Africa a solid start.

Ranked number 2 behind India, South Africa’s top order put together consecutive partnerships of 111, 55 before the unbeaten 200-run stand between Amla and Kallis, giving them a strong position in the three-match series. 

Earlier, South Africa’s Morne Morkel had ended India’s first innings with the third ball of the second day’s play, trapping Mahendra Singh Dhoni lbw for 33 as India failed to add to their overnight total.

“It was a great day for us,” Smith said. “We got the wicket early on that set the tone and Jakes [Kallis] and Hash [Amla] finished superbly. But there’s still a lot of cricket to be played.”

Source : News Agencies

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