Amla, Kallis tons shatter India

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Published: Saturday, December 18, 2010, 10:50 [IST]
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Amla, Kallis tons shatter India

If on Day 1, South Africa had dominated India, on Day 2, the hosts had torn the visitors to shreds. Play began promptly at 10:30 am local time and within a matter of minutes India was bowled out for its overnight score of 136, when Morne Morkel trapped India captain M S Dhoni for 33. Morkel had taken 5 scalps for just 20 runs in the innings, setting up a huge advantage for his side.

Then the South African batsmen took over where their bowlers had left off. Openers Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen gave their side a very smooth an steady start. Circumspect at first, the duo soon hit their stride and runs came fluently. The Indian pace attack looked lacklustre from the start and was sorely missing the services of their injured spearhead Zaheer Khan. In just the 16th over, Smith smacked Sreesanth for a four to take his side past 50.

As the sheen on the ball wore off, the Proteas batsmen started dominating. Smith welcomed off-spinner Harbhajan Singh into the attack, by punching him for two fours in his first over. Bhajji again came in for some stick from Smith when he was smashed for two more boundaries in the 22nd over. Finally, the bowler got his revenge when he had the Proteas captain caught behind for 62 in the 27th over. South Africa went into lunch at healthy 111/1, just 25 runs shy of India's first innings total.

In just 5 overs after the break, Alviro Petersen and Hashim Amla had taken the hosts past India's score. But a bit of drama ensued, when in the 35th over Dhoni dropped a sharp chance off Harbhajan to let Amla off the hook. The batsmen responded by lofting Bhajji for a huge six over midwicket. The batting pair took their side past 150 in the next over.

In the 40th over, Bhajji made another breakthrough when he had Petersen caught by Gautam Gambhir at forward short leg for 77. The hosts were 166/2, but the new batsmen Kallis settled in immediately by hitting the bowler for a four through extra cover. With the pace trio of Jaidev Unadkat, S Sreesanth and Ishant Sharma proving ineffectual, Dhoni turned to Suresh Raina. But the off-spinner was carted for a six when he came in, in the 46th over. In his next over, Kallis added to his woes, by taking him for a boundary and then another maximum.

From the 50th over onwards, Kallis and Amla showed they were an indomitable pair, taking runs at ease and striking boundaries fairly frequently. The pair extended South Africa's lead to 100 and went into tea with the score at 236/2 in 55 overs. Just before the break, Amla had notched up his fifty, while Kallis was batting on 42.

The entire last session of play belonged to the hosts. The Indian speedsters were causing Amla and Kallis no problems as the score ticked past 250 in the 60th over. In the 65th over, Kallis reached his half century by picking a single of Harbhajan and three overs later, reasserted his dominance, by smashing Sreesanth for two fours. One flew past point and the other was a blistering square-cut. Sharma was Kallis' next target as he too went for two boundaries, in the 74th over with the hosts' total crossing the 300 mark.

The Indian bowlers were struggling for impact, including Tendulkar whom Kallis lofted for a massive six over long in the 79th over. In the 80th over, Indian hopes of a breakthrough rose as the side took the new ball. But Amla and Kallis were too well set to be fazed. Amla went after Unadkat in the 85th over to smash him for two consecutive boundaries. The hosts reached stumps with the score at a humongous 366/2 and the lead at 230.


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