Port Elizabeth: Jacques Kallis made an unbeaten 84 as South Africa moved into a commanding position on the third day of the second Test against India at St Georges Park Sunday. South Africa, seeking a victory to clinch the three-match series, recovered from a poor start to their second innings to reach 211 for five when bad light stopped play, an overall lead of 372. With two days left, South Africa could look forward to setting India a target never achieved in the fourth innings of a Test match. The record was set by India when they made 406 for four to beat the West Indies at Port-of-Spain in 1975/76. On a pitch helping the seam bowlers, India faced a monumental task despite having some of the most talented batsmen in the world. Indian fast bowler Javagal Srinath gave his side some hope after they had trailed by 161 runs on the first innings after being bowled out for 201 in the first half hour of the day. Srinath bowled superbly in an opening spell of eight overs in which he took two wickets for four runs as South Africa crashed to 26 for three. Bowling an immaculate line and length and making the ball move off the seam, Srinath had Gary Kirsten caught at second slip for five and Neil McKenzie caught behind for two. New ball partner Ajit Agarkar struck a vital blow from the other end when he produced an off-cutter which seamed past the inside edge of Herschelle Gibbs bat and bowled the in-form South African opening batsman - who made 196 in the first innings - for 12. Kallis, though, batted calmly as he and Boeta Dippenaar stabilised the innings in a fourth wicket stand of 65 in 97 minutes. Dippenaar made 28 before he was given out caught by Virender Sehwag off pad and glove at silly point off off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. Kallis then shared two other useful partnerships, putting on 48 for the fifth wicket with Lance Klusener, who made 29 off 32 balls, and an unbeaten 72 for the sixth wicket with skipper Shaun Pollock. Klusener hit two sixes in the space of four balls off Harbhajan and also hit three fours before falling to the Sehwag-Harbhajan combination at silly point. Kallis, meanwhile, moved on to a 115-ball half-century which included five fours and a hooked six off Agarkar but had a narrow escape on 51 when he was dropped by Venkatsai Laxman at second slip off Agarkar. Surprisingly, Srinath was not called back into the Indian attack until 10 overs had been bowled in the afternoon and then he sent down only four overs in which he conceded seven runs. He bowled just three more overs before play was called off for the day, finishing with two for 19 in 15 overs. Pollock followed Kluseners attacking example and made a brisk 38 not out, with four fours and a six, while Kallis batted on solidly. When play was called off 14 overs earlier than scheduled, Kallis had been batting for 270 minutes had faced 201 balls and hit six fours and a six. India earlier added 19 runs for the loss of their last two wickets on an overcast, blustery morning following overnight rain. Laxman took his overnight score of 77 to 89 before he fell in South African captain Shaun Pollocks first over of the day. Laxman was trapped on his crease and struck low on the pad by a ball which cut back at him. He had batted for just over three hours, faced 121 balls and hit 12 fours. Laxman and Kumble had added 80 for the ninth wicket, a record in Tests between South Africa and India. Kumble was out in the next over when he slashed Mornantau Hayward to Kirsten at gully after making a valuable 28 off 86 balls with four fours.
| Copyright AFP 2001 |