SA in charge at the Gabba
Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla both struck centuries before Morne Morkel claimed two early wickets as South Africa took control at stumps on the third day of the first test against Australia at the Brisbane Cricket Ground on Sunday.
Kallis weighed in with 147 off 274 balls with 14 fours and a six, his highest score against Australia, while Amla contributed 104 off 244 balls with seven fours and a six as South Africa were bowled out for 450 15 minutes after tea.
Paceman Morkel then picked up 2-25 as Australia struggled to 111 for three at stumps with only an unbroken 71-run fourth-wicket stand between Ed Cowan and Michael Clarke adding some respectability to the score.
South Africa began the day on 255 for two with Amla on 90 and Kallis on 84 and Amla wasted no time in bringing up his 17th test century off 227 deliveries.
Kallis and Amla added 165-runs for the third-wicket before Amla was out leg-before to paceman Peter Siddle after being trapped in the crease. However, replays suggested that Amla should have asked for a review as the ball would have cleared the top of the stumps.
Kallis continued on his merry way and he brought up his 44th test ton off 168 balls with nine fours and a six. Kallis is now second to only Sachin Tendulkar, with 51, on the list of most test centuries.
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Understandably, Kallis was pleased with his innings.
“I was happy with the way I played, it was tough this morning, I felt Australia bowled really well, they got the ball in good areas and with the wicket being under cover for a day it was hard work this morning.
It was good to get through that as a team, and then post 450 and put a bit of pressure on Australia. The way the guys have been batting the last few months and few years is the way we like to bat, guys are in the zone and sticking to their game plans and setting high standards which is what we work towards,” he said after the day’s play.
AB de Villiers (40) and Kallis added to Australia’s woes with a fourth-wicket partnership of 90 before the hosts struck back thanks to two quick wickets from fast bowler James Pattinson.
Kallis was in sight of his 150 but he tried to cut a delivery from Pattinson that was too close to him to offer up a sharp catch to Rob Quiney in the gully.
Pattinson struck again in his next over when he had De Villiers caught at point.
Vernon Philander (11) was the next man to depart, when he edged a delivery from Siddle through to Clarke at first slip after the batsman prodded at a good delivery which left him off the pitch.
Dale Steyn (15) and Rory Kleinveldt (17 not out) then struck a few lusty blows as the Proteas went in search of quick runs.
Pattinson was the pick of Australia’s attack, ending with figures of 3-93.
Australia endured a nightmare start to their innings as they sank to 40 for three with Morkel doing most of the damage.
Steyn was the first to strike when he had David Warner (4) caught by Kallis at second slip before Morkel, bowling first change, took centre stage.
The lanky fast bowler had debutant Quiney (9) caught by Steyn at long leg with the fielder doing well to catch the ball on the fence, then throw it up before he crossed the rope, and then hopping back into the field of play to complete the catch.
Morkel then had Ricky Ponting (0) caught at second slip before Clarke and Cowan fought back.
Cowan was particularly severe on any short bowling as he moved to 49 not out off 74 balls but he did enjoy a life in the penultimate over of the day when he was caught by keeper De Villiers off a Morkel no-ball.
Clarke was patience personified as he ended the day on 34 not out.
South Africa face the prospect of playing the last two days of the test without a recognised spinner after JP Duminy was injured after play on day one of the test but Australia swing bowler Ben Hilfenhaus said he did not see it being a problem for the tourists.
“'They (South Africa) do have a lot of bowlers in the makeup of their team so I am guessing they will find a way to cope,'' Hilfenhaus said.
Kallis agreed but said that the morning of the fourth day could prove crucial as to where the match is headed.
“There's not too much an offer spin wise on that wicket. There is a bit for the seamers and we've got five seamers so hopefully we have the cover there to get the ball in the right areas and ask enough questions.
“Tomorrow morning is a key period, if we can nip out a few tomorrow morning and put some real pressure on Australia who knows? I think we have to give ourselves an opportunity, the game is far from dead. As long as you keep applying pressure, that's all we can do,” said Kallis.
Report Day 1
Report Day 2
AUSTRALIA - Ed Cowan, David Warner, Rob Quiney, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke (capt), Michael Hussey, Matthew Wade (wk), Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Ben Hilfenhaus, Nathan Lyon.
SOUTH AFRICA - Graeme Smith (capt), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers (wk), Jacques Rudolph, JP Duminy, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Rory Kleinveldt, Morne Morkel.