| Ravindra Jadeja after taking a wicket, on Sunday |
Durban: Jacques Kallis ensured that his last Test will be even more memorable by hitting his 45th Test hundred, as India faced a daunting task of batting out the entire fifth day to save the series-deciding second cricket Test against South Africa, here.
Kallis scored a fluent 115 as the home team posted a mammoth 500 in their first innings, to take a 166-run lead on Sunday.
Kallis scored his hundred in the pre-lunch session. He went past Rahul Dravid’s tally of 13,288 runs in 164 matches by one run, to end up as the third-highest run-getter in Test cricket history.
Kallis started the day slowly, and had a nervy moment against Ravindra Jadeja in the 130th over, nearly playing the ball on to his stumps, before flicking to square leg for a single and bringing up his century.
He scored 100 runs off 273 balls, batting for 334 minutes and hitting 13 fours. In the next two overs, he brought up his 50-run partnership with Dale Steyn (44) for the sixth wicket, as his good friend played the role of a night watchman perfectly.
It brought an end to his innings and his team-mates came out of the dressing room to embrace him.
The Indian second innings saw both openers back in the pavilion early. Murali Vijay (6) and Shikhar Dhawan (19) were out on yet another rain-marred day. The visitors still need 98 runs to make the hosts bat again.
Cheteshwar Pujara (32) and Virat Kohli (11) will resume India’s battle on Monday. Pujara and Dhawan had batted with caution after pacer Vernon Philander had Vijay caught at slips.
But Faf du Plessis took a spectacular one-handed catch to send back Dhawan, who played uppishly in the mid-wicket region and failed to clear the fielder.
It was yet another waste of a cautious start by Dhawan, who ended this Test series with scores of 13, 15, 29 and 19.
With one day left in the match, the visitors have to bat out the final day to share the honours in the two-match series. The first Test in Johannesburg had ended in a thrilling draw.
South Africa, on the other hand, need to take eight wickets on a tricky fifth day track at the Kingsmead to give Kallis a perfect gift in his farewell match.
Resuming at the overnight score of 299 for five, Kallis scored 115 off 316 balls with 13 boundaries while lower-order batsman Robin Peterson played a 61-run cameo before their innings folded for exactly 500.
Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja was the pick of the bowlers for India with six wickets for 138 runs, while pacer Zaheer Khan took two wickets.
South African pacer Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel bowled well with the new ball, getting more pace, bounce and movement than the Indian attack earlier on, yet could not get anymore breakthroughs.