Ton-derful start for Proteas
Jacques Kallis and Alviro Petersen both struck centuries to put South Africa in a commanding position after day one at Newlands.
By Joe Drabble - Twitter: @SkySportsDrabs
Last Updated: 04/01/12 9:38am
South Africa batsmen Jacques Kallis and Alviro Petersen both struck centuries to put the Proteas in a commanding position after day one of the third and final Test against Sri Lanka at Newlands.
The pair made a mockery of Tillakaratne Dilshan's decision to bowl first with a 205-run partnership for the third wicket, a stand which helped the hosts reach stumps well-placed on 347-3.
Kallis, playing his 150th Test match, continued his love affair with the picturesque Cape Town venue by reaching the close unbeaten on 159, and his 41st Test century means he has now scored hundreds against all nine Test-playing nations.
Right-handed opener Petersen, recalled to the side in place of Ashwell Prince, vindicated the South Africa selectors' decision with a fluent 109 before he fell to Chanaka Welegedara in the final session.
While the decision to recall Petersen proved a shrewd one, Dilshan's ploy to bowl first at the start of the winner-takes-all final Test could prove costly.
Opposite number Graeme Smith set the tone early on with three boundaries before he dragged Dhammika Prasad back on to his stumps for a quickfire 16.
Prasad (2-85) then made another breakthrough to trap Hashim Amla lbw for 16 to leave South Africa in slight trouble on 56-2, but Petersen struck six fours and a six in reaching his fourth Test half-century before lunch.
Kallis, fresh from his first-ever Test match pair at Durban, was targeted with plenty of short-pitched bowling early in his innings, however he survived a couple of nervy moments before cashing in on a true pitch.
He took on the short bowling with aggression and feasted on anything overpitched to race to his 56th Test fifty from 42 balls early in the afternoon session.
He was on 59 by the time the century partnership came up - from just 113 balls - and survived an lbw referral shortly afterwards.
The pair's stand passed their country's third-wicket record against Sri Lanka of 140 - previously held by Kallis and Herschelle Gibbs - and they pressed on to 150 shortly afterwards.
The Sri Lanka bowlers continued to struggle with their line and length as the day progressed and Kallis, who had gone beyond 70 at quicker than a run a ball, reached his 10th Test century at Newlands off 114 balls by clipping Prasad through mid-wicket for two. He had hit 17 boundaries in all.
Petersen endured a couple of nervy moments in pursuit of his milestone and almost perished off the final ball before tea when, in haste, he wafted loosely at a wide delivery and was lucky not to edge behind.
He too went to three figures with a couple through the leg-side and the former Glamorgan captain swiftly raised his bat to celebrate a timely second Test hundred.
He failed to kick on, though, eventually perishing for 109 when a lazy drive on the up was well pouched by Dilshan at short extra cover.
AB de Villiers joined Kallis out in the middle and the new man quickly got his eye on before Sri Lanka's seamers came again armed with the second new ball.
Kallis passed his 150 - the 13th time he has done so in Test cricket - late in the day and he and De Villiers (44no) will aim to pick up where they left off when play resumes on day two.