Durban, Dec 28: Jacques Kallis showed his class for one last time with a gutsy unbeaten 78 in his farewell match as South Africa gained a slight upperhand in the series-deciding second Test against India here today.
The 38-year-old Kallis seemed on course for his 45th Test century with an exhibition of determined batsmanship as the hosts reached 299 for five before heavens opened up at the Kingsmead.
Giving Kallis company was nightwatchman Dale Steyn (0 batting) with the home team needing another 36 runs to overhaul India's first innings total of 334.
While the seasoned Kallis anchored the innings facing 224 balls, AB de Villiers (74), Alviro Peterson (62) and Graeme Smith (47) were the other notable contributors for the Proteas.
Hashim Amla (3) and JP Duminy (28) were other wickets to fall on a day which was largely dominated by the home team.
If Smith-Peterson duo's opening stand of 103 laid the foundation of the South African innings, it was De Villiers and Kallis, who added 127 runs for the fourth wicket to keep the momentum going.
De Villiers again played a free-flowing innings hitting nine boundaries in his 117 ball knock - one less than Kallis, who went about with a business like approach which was bereft of any emotion which one normally associates with occasions of such magnitude.
For India, left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja vindicated his captain's selection with figures of four for 87 which included the scalps of Peterson, Smith and De Villiers.
Coming in at the fall of Amla's wicket, Kallis was given a 'Guard of Honour' by the Indian cricketers with rival skipper MS Dhoni shaking hands with the legendary all-rounder.
However Kallis was a picture of concentration during his knock. It took him 25 deliveries to hit the first of his 10 boundaries of a Jadeja delivery.
It was a lofted hit over mid-off and he repeated the shot of the very next ball. A sweep of Rohit Sharma, a couple of back to back cover drives off Zaheer Khan showed that Kallis is in a mood to leave his white flannels on a high.