Heroic Kallis Century Sets India 340 To Win Decider
South Africa 362 (Kallis 161) & 341 (Kallis 109no) v
India 364 (Tendulkar 146, Gambhir 93, Steyn 5-75)
Third Test, Cape Town, day four
South African batting mainstay Jacques Kallis crafted another epic century, his 40th Tests, as the rest of the lower order batsman rallied around him to make 341 all out in the last over of day four of the series decider Test at Cape Town against India.
India will pursue a steep fourth innings target of 340 runs seeking to register a historic series triumph or save the game and series eventually after Kallis, batting with an injured rib, was unbeaten on 109.
The Proteas recovered from a hopeless 130 for six as India toiled hard whole day, unable to break through further as temperatures reached 38 degrees celsius at Newlands, Cape Town.
Day four commenced in dramatic fashion as off-spinner Harbhajan Singh took only five balls to strike for India when he dismissed a circumspect Alviro Petersen (22), the overnight batman, leg before while prodding on the backfoot.
Luck helped India as in-form Hashim Amla (2) was bowled off a spinning delivery which escaped his unconventional sweep shot to rearrange the bails.
Fast bowler Shantakumaran Sreesanth bought the Indian camp alive with a great over, as Kallis was rapped on the pad twice, but seasoned umpire Simon Taufel was unfazed by the vociferous appeal for leg before.
The post-lunch session saw the Proteas score 91 runs in 28 overs as they were 212 for six at tea, with a lead of 210 runs.
Wicket-keeper Mark Boucher completed his 34th Test half-century, taking 74 deliveries to come out of the first innings dejection of a duck. He combined beautifully with sheet anchor Kallis, stitching a crucial 100 partnership off 187 balls for the seventh wicket.
Sachin Tendulkar, bowling his leg-breaks, got one to keep really low and ended Boucher's brilliant counter-attacking innings of 55 with a plumb leg-before decision.
Dale Steyn pulled Sreesanth over the wide deep mid-on for a boundary to bring the 250 for South Africa and then greeted Harbhajan for his new spell by despatching him over long on for a massive six.
Harbhajan Singh got rid of Steyn (32) via an inside edge as subtitute Murali Vijay did the rest at leg slip position. This wicket gave Harbhajan Singh his 25th five-wicket haul in his 93rd Test, now seven short of 400 Test scalps, with figures of seven for 120 in 38 overs.
Earlier, Ashwell Prince (22) gave good company to a resolute Jacques Kallis for a crucial 32 run partnership before he was removed by paceman Ishant Sharma, caught by Sreesanth at square point position.
On the opening day, the honours were largely shared as Kallis closed unbeaten on 80 after India won the toss and chose to bowl, reducing South Africa to 232 for four. After South Africa were dismissed for 362 , India replied strongly, reaching 142 for two with Gambhir and Tendulkar leading the charge.
Tendulkar's 51st Test century then guided India to a lead of two before two late wickets ensured the tourists enjoyed the better of the third day.
The series is level at 1-1 after South Africa won the opener at Centurion Park before India hit back in Durban.
© Cricket World 2011