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Monday, January 4, 2010

Kallis proves persistent thorn in England's side

At 34 Jacques Kallis could be near the end of his illustrious career. But far from showing signs of slowing down, the Cape Town born batsmen has been in outstanding form in the Test series with England, consistently defying the England attack even when those around them were dropping like flies.

Take the first day of the third test at Newlands. South Africa, put in to bat on a greenish surface by Andrew Strauss, were in deep trouble after Ashwell Prince fell in the first over and Graeme Smith was given a life when a routine slip catch went down.

Kallis eventually came to the crease with South Africa 46-2, hardly a comfortable position. And with the side already 1-0 down with one to play in the four-match series this was a crucial period, with England sniffing blood.

But Kallis, who averages more than 70 at his favourite ground, rose above the pressure and the failure of his team-mates to hit a marvellous 108, steering South Africa to 279 for 6 at stumps as he did so. His hit will no doubt have an impact on England's Test odds .

Kallis used all his skill and experience to see off the England quicks, who bowled on a surface that offered them something throughout the course of the day. But far from being a defensive job Kallis displayed an array of attacking strokes to ruthlessly punish bad deliveries and slowly drag his side out of the huge hole they found themselves in early in the day. It was Kallis' 7th century in 28 matches against England, his third in successive tests and evoked memories of his magnificent 149 he smashed against the same side at the same ground three years ago.

It was a slightly different match situation this time round. In 2005 he drove a beaten England into the ground, but the one consistent factor is that Kallis again proved an immovable object, barely offering the bowlers any opportunities, much to England's frustration.

Strauss' men can have no real complaints with their efforts on this tour so far. Question marks raised about their batsmen were dismissed with a confident display in the second test and their bowlers helped to seal a vital test win. But while Kallis is around and in this defiant mood, any talk of an historic series win should be put very much to the back of their mind.

In other sports news, betting experts have already begun casting their eyes over the likely runners and riders for the 2010 Grand National.

Guest post by Tom Mallows


  1. Kallis got his 33rd test century, and saved the South African team. Great job!

  2. Jacques Kallis performing very well as a all rounder in test and ODI. Jacques Kallis hitting centuries constantly, and he is very close to break down the record of Sunil Gavakar.

  3. Kallis is good all rounder from S. Africa. He is very close to break the record of Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar.


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