x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Kallis century keeps Proteas' slump in check

All to play for tomorrow at Newlands after Smith's men recover from five-wicket slide as England bowlers continue with their good form.

Kallis celebrates scoring his century on the first day of the third test..
Kallis celebrates scoring his century on the first day of the third test..

CAPE TOWN // Home is definitely where the heart is for Jacques Kallis. The South African all-rounder, who grew up in Cape Town, hit his sixth Test century at Newlands yesterday to bring his side back into the third Test. Kallis helped South Africa recover from 121 for five to end the day on 279 for six but England will still be delighted with their day's work as they go in search of a series-clinching victory.

Andrew Strauss' men continued with the ball where they had left off in 2009 with James Anderson and Graeme Swann particularly impressive, each contributing two wickets throughout the day. South Africa would be in real trouble without the efforts of Kallis and Mark Boucher (51) who put on 89 for the sixth wicket to see the hosts to a position of respectability. Ashwell Prince, Hashim Amla and JP Duminy had earlier failed again while Graeme Smith (30) and AB de Villiers (36) had both got themselves out when well set. After intermittent drizzle delayed the start by 30 minutes, Strauss won his seventh out of nine tosses and immediately put the hosts in.

England made it count early with Prince departing in only the fourth ball of the match, nicking to Matt Prior off Anderson. And they should have got the crucial wicket of Smith three balls later. Swann, only at second slip because Paul Collingwood was not risked in his regular position following a finger injury, dropped a dolly off Graham Onions' first ball of the day, after Smith had edged a wide one.

The South African captain set about making England pay, brutally smashing Onions twice to the boundary. Amla had a scratchy time at the crease and was given a big let-off by third umpire Aleem Dar. Stuart Broad appeared to have induced an edge from the South African No 3 but the not-out decision of umpire Daryl Harper was upheld. The sun soon came out and England appeared to be struggling with Smith in ominous form.

But Onions then got Amla with a full and straight lbw delivery just before lunch. Things got better for England straight after as Smith nicked the on-song Anderson, with Prior taking a fine diving catch to leave the score 51 for three. England celebrations were plain for all to see as Anderson celebrated his 150th Test wicket, but Kallis and De Villiers hit back with a fourth-wicket partnership of 76.

De Villiers was given a let-off on 24 when he appeared to be out twice in one delivery, with suggestions that Prior both caught and stumped the South African No 5. The right-hander survived before his luck finally ran out with a dreadful shot which found Strauss at mid-wicket, giving Swann his first wicket. England's player of the tour so far then got Duminy for a second consecutive first-ball duck with the left-hander edging behind to wicketkeeper Prior.

Boucher looked to attack, hitting three consecutive fours against Swann on his way to a well compiled fifty. But the South African wicketkeeper fell after tea, lbw to Broad, despite an unsuccessful referral attempt, with the ball clearly striking Boucher's back-pad and hitting the top of middle. Kallis continued to frustrate the England bowlers, bringing up his 33rd Test hundred - a chanceless one at that - with a cover drive off a Kevin Pietersen full toss. Dale Steyn (26 not out) was moved up to No 8 in the order and justified his promotion by helping Kallis put on an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 63. From being under massive pressure themselves, it gives the Proteas a chance of turning the tables on England when play resumes today. @Email:sports@thenational.ae

South Africa (first innings): Ashwell Prince c Prior b Anderson 0 Graeme Smith c Prior b Anderson 30 Hashim Amla lbw b Onions 14 Jacques Kallis not out 108 AB de Villiers c Strauss b Swann 36 JP Duminy c Prior b Swann 0 Mark Boucher lbw b Broad 51 Dale Steyn not out 26 Extras: (1b, 11lb, 1w, 1nb) 14 Total: (for six wickets, 83.2 overs) 279 Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-46, 3-51, 4-127, 5-127, 6-216. Bowling: James Anderson 20-1-62-2 (1w, 1nb) Graham Onions 18.2-3-60-1 Stuart Broad 19-6-54-1 Graeme Swann 22-1-74-2 Kevin Pietersen 4-0-17-0.