Kallis ton gives SA big lead

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iol spt dec29 Kallis-ton

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Jacques Kallis scored an emotive farewell century and moved into third place on the all-time list of Test run scorers. Photo by Duif du Toit

Durban - A teary Jacques Kallis scored an emotive farewell century and moved into third place on the all-time list of Test run scorers as South Africa built a sizeable first innings lead over India on the fourth day of the second Test on Sunday.

Playing his last test, the 38-year-old all-rounder hit 115 to help steer his side past India's first innings total of 334 as South Africa reached 497 for eight before rain brought a delay to play and tea was taken early.

A brisk 61 from Robin Peterson, batting at number nine, and Faf du Plessis, 41 not out when the drizzle brought on the covers, ensured a 163-run lead as South Africa sought to force a result with time running out in the two-test series.

Kallis, who announced his decision to quit the test arena in a surprise statement on Christmas Day, reached his ton in 273 balls to a standing ovation from a disappointingly small crowd at Kingsmead. It prompted a brief outpouring of emotion from the usually unflappable Kallis.

Fifteen runs later, as he battled with hamstring cramp, Kallis passed Rahul Dravid's career tally of 13,288 runs to move behind Sachin Tendulkar (15,921 runs) and Ricky Ponting (13,378) in the list of top test batsmen.

He was out three balls after, top edging spinner Ravindra Jadeja high into the air to be caught by India wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Kallis' 115 was scored off 316 balls and was his 45th test century, a record bettered only by 51 hundreds from Tendulkar, who retired last month.

Playing in his 166th test at the same venue where he made his debut 18 years ago, Kallis was ably supported in the extended morning session by an aggressive Dale Steyn, who had come in as the night watchman at the end of a rain-curtailed third day.

Steyn scored 44 off 93 balls before being caught behind as South Africa moved their overnight tally from 299 for five for the loss of two wickets, taking advantage of India's surprise decision not to take up the second new ball at the start of the day and instead looked in vain for spin and inswing from the softer old one.

After lunch India still persisted with the old ball and were punished by Peterson and du Plessis in a brisk 110-run partnership.– Reuters

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