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Monday, January 04, 2010

Kallis revives shaky South Africa: T3 D1

South Africa 6/279 (83.2 ov, J Kallis 108*, M Boucher 51) v England: T3 D1 at Cape Town

The day's play at first resembled that of the previous match. Then Jacques Kallis in a series of partnerships wrested, if not the initiative, at least some equilibrium back from England. England's decision to field after winning the toss (as they'd done in T1) was vindicated by the early success of their bowlers who exposed the fragility of the top order by taking 3/51. Thereafter Kallis demonstrated his class, first in a partnership of 76 with Graeme Smith, then after two wickets fell in successive balls at 127, batting through the rest of a day shortened by weather and poor light for 108*/188b (11x4), adding 89 with Mark Boucher and an unbroken 61 with Dale Steyn.

Kallis is an effective rather than a stylish player so it's easy to overlook his considerable achievements with bat and ball as his Test career stats show . He's had only one recent poor series with the bat, v England in 2008, but even here he partly compensated for this loss of form by taking 10 wickets at 29.5 apiece. Scorecard

A word about Makhaya Ntini who was omitted from the South African XI and who is likely to announce his retirement from international cricket. His stats are pretty good too.

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