December 18, 2010 | In: Articles
Jacques the lad at Centurion
South Africa are still on course for a landslide win in the first Test in Centurion despite finally encountering some Indian resistance on day three.
Jacques Kallis registered his maiden Test double ton and AB de Villiers hit a rapid hundred before the Proteas declared their first innings at 620-4, giving them a massive lead of 484.
Having been bowled out for a paltry 136 in their first innings, India did at least put up more of a fight second time around.
Openers Gautam Gambir (80) and Virender Sehwag (63) shared a century stand but both fell in the final session, the tourists closing on 190-2.
Kallis had finally got the monkey off his back of never making a double hundred as he hit an unbeaten 201 to help South Africa pile on the runs.
During his knock he shared in a third-wicket stand of 230 with Hashim Amla (140) and then put on 224 off a mere 226 balls with de Villiers.
Amla had resumed in the morning on 116 but only added 24 runs to his personal total before edging Ishant Sharma through to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Still, Amla has now managed four successive tons against India; he hit 253 not out, 114 and 123 not out during the tour there back in February.
India’s joy at a breakthrough proved short-lived, however, as de Villiers came out and blasted his way to the fastest ever Test ton by a South African.
The right-hander reached three figures from a mere 75 deliveries as he combined with Kallis to plunder 225 runs in the morning session.
De Villiers had moved on to 129, having hit 12 fours and five sixes, in the afternoon before his fun was finally ended when he fell to Sharma (2-120).
With Kallis having already reached his milestone with a tickled four down to fine leg off the bowling of debutant Jaidev Unadkat, home skipper Graeme Smith decided at the fall of the fourth wicket to call an end to the innings.
Facing a monumental task to save themselves from a heavy defeat in the series opener, India managed to get through to tea without losing a wicket.
Their opening partnership had reached 137 when a wicket finally fell, Sehwag being caught by Smith off the bowling of left-arm spinner Paul Harris.
Gambhir carried on the fight until a delivery from Dale Steyn kept a little low and struck him on the pad right in front of the stumps. Having battled through 43 balls for five runs on day one, the left-hander had looked much more fluent in a knock that contained 10 boundaries.
Rahul Dravid held firm to reach 28 not out when bad light ended play early, nightwatchman Sharma alongside him with seven to his name.