South African star Jacques Kallis said Tuesday he had surpassed his boyhood dream of scoring 25 Test hundreds after his latest effort put his team in command in the first Test against Pakistan here.
"When I was in the back garden playing cricket as a youngster I never thought about scoring 25 Test hundreds and this is very special," said Kallis, who was dropped from the national side for last month's Twenty20 World Cup.
"I hope a lot is left in me, only time will tell," said the stylish all-rounder who scored 155 runs in the first innings and then claimed a key wicket to rattle Pakistan batting.
Thanks to Kallis's heroics, South Arica made 450 in the first innings and the tourists then took a firm grip on the match by reducing the home team to 127-5 at close, still needing 124 to avoid the follow-on.
Kallis hit 19 boundaries and put on an invaluable 170 runs for the third wicket with Hashim Amla (71) and 73 for the fourth with Ashwell Prince who made 36.
He was out caught behind to leg-spinner Danish Kaneria.
Kallis said he never thought of scoring 25 Test hundreds when he began his career in 1995. "It is a great honour."
The 31-year-old from Cape Town was dropped from South Africa's Twenty20 World Cup squad. That angered him to resign the vice-captaincy and before the Pakistan tour he resisted calls to reconsider his decision.
But Kallis seemed to have left the frustration behind him, notching an attractive 73 in the only side game last week to tune up for the first Test.
Kallis said his hundred was one of his three best innings.
"In terms of the situation it's right up there. I still regard my first Test 100 in Melbourne (against Australia in 1997) as my best, but this one is certainly right up in (the) top three," said Kallis.
Kallis said tourists fell 50 runs short but made amends through some good bowling.
"It's vital to have a good first innings score in a Test in the sub-continent. I think we fell 50 runs short. In the end bowlers came out on top and put us in a strong position.
"We still have a tough task ahead of us because the pitch is still good for batting and we will have to work hard. The most important thing tomorrow will be to take the remaining five wickets and then take the decision (to enforce the follow-on).
Kallis felt Test cricket will become faster after the advent of the slam bang form of Twenty20 cricket.
"When one-day cricket started everybody said it will affect Test cricket and you can probably say the same thing about Twenty20 affecting Test and one day cricket.
"But I think players have been adapting all their careers if anything it (Twenty20) might make Test cricket a bit quicker, certainly Test cricket has gone quicker over the last few years."