| Jacques Kallis en route to his second consecutive tri-series century in Canterbury on Sunday
Canterbury: Jacques Kallis said he hoped his back-to-back hundreds in two days had given his father Henry “a lot of thoughts to fight with” in his battle against cancer.
Kallis, speaking after his one-day International best 125 not out had set up South Africa’s 46-run triangular series win over Zimbabwe on Sunday, said: “It’s been difficult with my father and last week my uncle died, so from a family point of view, it doesn’t get any worse than that.
“It was a difficult decision for me to come on this tour,” added Kallis, 27, who made 107 in South Africa’s six-wicket defeat against England in their first match of the series at The Oval on Saturday.
“Right up until the last minute I wasn’t 100 percent sure I was going to come on tour,” explained Kallis, who missed the tour of Bangladesh.
“But my sister got a transfer to Cape Town and I know that my father would want nothing more for me than to be successful on a cricket field,” added Kallis after posting his 10th one-day International hundred.
Kallis, 27, who has adopted his father’s age, 65, as his shirt number, said of his performances: “It’s right up there with the best feeling I’ve ever had.”
He added: “My father didn’t know about the shirt number but my sister told me it made him feel proud.”
Kallis said his father’s illness had given him a changed outlook. “I think it probably has put new perspective in my life. People are dying. If I can go out there and enjoy it and give other people enjoyment, that’s important.”
Turning to the match, Kallis said playing on successive days was tough. “Back-to-back games are definitely tough, especially for allrounders. My legs feel like lead. But it’s always easier when the team is doing well.”
And he insisted his enforced break had done him good. “I’ve had three months off and have come back refreshed. From a cricketing point of view it was the best thing I could have done.”
South Africa captain Graeme Smith, fulsome in his praise of Kallis, also paid tribute to Andrew Hall. The Worcestershire allrounder made a dashing 56 and also took three for 38 with his accurate medium-pacers on Sunday.
After promoting Hall up the order, following his eight-ball unbeaten 23 at Lord’s, Smith said: “I sent him in to do a job and he took the pressure off the batters. As a bowler he knows what he can do and has a never-say-die attitude.”
Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak said fielding lapses had cost his team the match. He himself twice missed chances to run out Kallis with a direct hit, another chance to run out the former Middlesex allrounder also passed Zimbabwe by and they dropped him twice into the bargain as well.
“We knew we were going to be underdogs,” Streak said. “The aim always for Zimbabwe is to be competitive.
“The missed run-outs and catches off Kallis, the missed stumping off Hall, cost us. Had we restricted them to 250 it would have been game on.” (AFP)