Kallis ton thwarts England
Jacques Kallis struck his 32nd Test century as South Africa reached stumps on day one of the first Test on 262-4 against England.
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 17/12/09 4:24pm
First Test Match
South Africa 262-4 (J H Kallis 112 no) v England
South Africa talisman Jacques Kallis struck his 32nd Test century as England captain Andrew Strauss was left to rue his decision to bowl first on day one of the opening Test in Centurion.
All-rounder Kallis, playing as a specialist batsman due to a rib injury, reached stumps ominously poised on 112 not out with South Africa in a position of strength on 262-4.
The day had started so well for England when Stuart Broad dismissed home captain Graeme Smith for a duck with the ninth ball of the match.
But Kallis showed the way thereafter on a slow, flat surface at SuperSport Park, caressing 14 boundaries and one almighty six off Graeme Swann (2-61) to put South Africa in command.
England's plight worsened when Graham Onions, one of only three pace bowlers in the tourists' starting XI, was limited to 14 overs after sustaining a calf strain shortly before tea.
South Africa were dealt a major blow on the morning of the match when strike bowler Dale Steyn was ruled out with a hamstring injury - meaning a debut for uncapped paceman Friedel de Wet.
England opted for caution by selecting a sixth specialist batsman in Ian Bell, the only other poser seeing Onions given the nod ahead of Ryan Sidebottom in a four-man attack.
After weeks of pre-series mind games from South Africa captain Smith, who claimed he would have batted anyway having been inserted by opposite number Strauss, it was England who struck the first telling blow just nine balls into the match.
Moving across his stumps, the Proteas skipper could only guide Broad's leg-side delivery off the face of his bat through to Matt Prior, who showed great agility to dive across and cling onto the catch.
Make-shift opener Ashwell Prince and Hashim Amla were forced to consolidate thereafter, however England, and Broad in particular, were guilty of bowling too short as their partnership progressed past 50.
Onions, playing in just his sixth Test match, was introduced into the attack in the 11th over and was celebrating five overs into his spell when an lbw appeal against Prince was given out by umpire Steve Davis.
However, after consultation with partner Amla, Prince called for a review, which overturned the decision after replays showed the ball drifting over the top of the stumps.
There was no denying the Durham man in his next over though, a full delivery luring Amla (19) into a drive, which was expertly held low to his right by Paul Collingwood at second slip.
Kallis joined Prince in the middle and the pair safely negotiated the remainder of the first session to reach lunch on 70-2.
Prince neared his ninth Test half-century when play resumed, however the introduction of Swann brought England immediate reward.
A flighted delivery outside off-stump lured the left-hander into a false prod away from his body, and Collingwood comfortably pouched his second catch of the day at first slip.
AB de Villiers then joined Kallis at the crease, and the pair adopted a more aggressive strategy in an attempt to blast Swann out of the attack.
Kallis smashed the off-spinner for a huge six and a one-bounce four off his following over and de Villiers used his feet to clinical effect.
England called upon Collingwood's medium-pace midway through the second session, and another deft flick off his pads from Kallis saw the South African bring up his 52nd Test fifty.
The tourists wasted the first of their two allocated referrals when an lbw appeal from James Anderson on Kallis was rightly turned down. After much deliberation Strauss called for a review, but replays clearly showed the ball hit the batsman outside the line of off-stump, with height also an issue.
The second referral followed in the same session, and when an appeal on de Villiers for caught behind was inconclusive, England had used up both of their challenges with no reward.
Undeterred, England stuck to their plans as the second session neared an end and got their reward in the final over before tea when de Villiers (32) edged Swann to Alastair Cook at short leg via his front pad.
The wicket ended an ominous looking 66-run partnership between de Villiers and Kallis, however JP Duminy announced himself in the middle with a towering six off Swann.
Duminy brought up the South Africa 200 with a scintillating cover drive off Anderson and successive boundaries from Kallis off the medium pace of Jonathan Trott saw the South Africa talisman near three figures.
Another crunching off-side drive took Kallis past 1,000 Test match runs at Centurion and the powerful all-rounder brought up his 32nd Test century with a top-edged pull off Broad late in the day.
Duminy, playing in his first Test match against England, reached the close of play unbeaten on 38 and more than played his part in an unbroken 102 stand with Kallis.