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Kallis puts South Africa in control – 1st Test, Day 1

December 16, 2009

Jacques Kallis put South Africa in a strong position against England on the opening day of the first test in Centurion with an unbeaten 112.

Jacques Kallis made a superb century to put the hosts in control - BBC

England captain Andrew Strauss won the toss and put the hosts in to bat, a decision that looked sound after Stuart Broad had Graham Smith caught down the leg side without scoring. The ball was not particularly dangerous but the South African captain prodded to find leg but miscued as Matt Prior took a simple catch behind the stumps.

Broad bowled a number of short balls which failed to make an impact in the morning and it was Graham Onions who got the next breakthrough, as Hashim Amla slashed an outswinger to the reliable Paul Collingwood at second slip. Amla departed for 33 which brought Kallis to the crease at 51/2 just before lunch.

Ashwell Prince was given out lbw after a swinging delivery from Onions, but a replay showed the ball was high and the decision was rightly overturned after appeal. Having earlier referred a silly lbw appeal against Kallis the tourists found themselves with no referrals left while still needing to take seven wickets.

Graham Swann celebrates after dismissing Ashwell Prince - BBC

Kallis eased his way to 50 but not before Graham Swann, in his first over, had Prince caught by Collingwood, the left-hander pushing forward as the ball turned.

AB de Villiers (32) prodded to Alastair Cook at short leg for the fourth wicket, shortly after England had wasted a their final referral by appealing for a catch behind as de Villiers looked to pull a Swann delivery through the leg side.

The snickometer and hot-spot, two pieces of technology used by Sky Sports to determine if a bat and ball have made contact, were not available to the third umpire and so it was always unlikely that the decision would be overturned. In any case de Villiers was out a few balls later and JP Duminy entered the arena minutes before tea.

Kallis celebrates after reaching his hundred with a top edge for 4 - BBC

The wicket left the day in the balance as the sides left the field 159/4, but Kallis ensured South Africa would end the day strongly as he hit an array of shots after tea and deservedly reached 100 with a top edge for 4, narrowly missing Graham Onions. It is his 32nd test century and his sixth against England.

Onions was the best of England’s pacemen and deserved more than his solitary wicket, and Anderson too threatened early on before the threat of England’s attack was largely negated by Kallis.

The sides go into tomorrow with the hosts firmly in control, 262/4, with Kallis and JP Duminy at the crease.

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