Centuries from Kallis, de Villiers put South Africa in command

April 4th, 2008 - 5:18 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh
(Lead, Tea Report)
By Avishek Roy
Ahmedabad, April 4 (IANS) Centuries from Jacques Kallis and Abraham de Villiers helped South Africa pile up 413 runs for the loss of five wickets and extend their lead over India to a massive 337 runs by tea on the second day of the second Test at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera here Friday. Kallis made 132, his 30th Test century, and de Villiers continued his rampaging form and was unbeaten at 159. Mark Boucher was at the other end on nine.

To save the match from here would need nothing less then a miracle from India.

Kallis romped to his century with a boundary just after lunch. His century came in 275 balls, which included 14 hits to the fence and one six.

Sreesanth, who had troubled the batsmen with the new ball, finally got Kallis out when he rattled his stumps.

But it was too late as de Villiers and Kallis had done the job of putting together a stand of 256 runs, a record fifth wicket stand between the two teams.

De Villiers was going strong at the other end and was looking good for a double century on a pitch where the entire Indian team were blown out for just 76 runs in the first innings. The right-hander’s 255-ball 159 included 16 boundaries.

The partnership of Kallis and de Villiers came after the visitors were in a spot of bother at 117/4. But they made sure that they don’t need to bat in the fourth innings.

Skipper Kumble made several bowling changes but none were effective.

In the morning session, de Villiers batted resolutely to struck his maiden century against India as South Africa reached 306 for four at lunch.

After their dramatic collapse Thursday morning, the second day’s first session also turned out to be an unproductive one for the hosts with bowlers struggling to get a breakthrough. India had their chances but luck too also seems to have deserted them.

Skipper Anil Kumble started the day’s proceedings with Irfan Pathan and Harbhajan Singh, who had taken three wickets on the opening day.

A Harbhajan delivery turned and as Kallis fended it off, the ball rolled and hit the stumps, but the bails didn’t fall.

A few leg before appeals were turned down because of the height and some run out chances were wasted.

Riding their luck, Kallis and de Villiers piled agony on the hosts.

De Villiers was not shy of punishing the bad deliveries and brought about his fifth Test century in 174 balls with the help of 11 boundaries, just before lunch. The Kallis innings was studded with an equal number of boundaries and one six. But it took 223 deliveries.

India missed a run out chance as Rudra Pratap failed to collect a throw even as de Villiers were far short of the crease.

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