South Africa vs India 2nd Test Day 5: South Africa give Kallis perfect farewell present

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Kallis finishes his Test career as the third-highest all-time run-scorer

South Africa thrashed India by 10 wickets in the second Test in Durban to give veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis the perfect present as he bids farewell to Test cricket after an illustrious 18-year career.

Kallis signed off in style as well, scoring his 45th Test century, during which he surpassed legendary India batsman Rahul Dravid as the third-highest all-time run-scorer in Test cricket history.

Starting the day on 68/2, India’s batting duo of Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara failed to add a single run to their 15-run partnership as Kohli was caught behind off the bowling of Dale Steyn for 11.

Pujara failed to last much longer as he was clean bowled by Steyn for 32. 

Following Pujara’s dismissal, India entire batting line-up, with the exception of Ajinkya Rahane, collapsed. 

Rahane stood tall amongst the rubble and smashed 96 off 157 balls, which included 11 boundaries and two sixes, before being cleaned up by Vernon Philander. 

India were eventually bowled out for 223, giving South Africa a target of 58 runs to win the match. 

Robin Peterson was the pick of the South African bowlers with four wickets, while Steyn and Philander chipped in with three wickets apiece.

The Proteas had no problem chasing down their target as captain Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen put India out of their misery in almost no time at all. 

Smith finished on 27 off 33 balls, which included four boundaries and a six, while Petersen remained undefeated on 31 off 37 deliveries, which included five boundaries and a six, as South Africa cruised to a ten-wicket win.

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was disappointed to have lost the match, but nonetheless paid tribute to Kallis for his outstanding Test career. 

“The first session was crucial, we didn’t start well, a couple of bad decisions, tough decisions, a couple of bad shots,” he said. “Overall, only a few of the top order had played more than five Tests outside the subcontinent, great experience for them to play the toughest side. I’m very happy with the performance, especially of the bowlers, without the luxury of an all-rounder, they bowled to the plan that they had. They must have learnt a lot out of these two games, also that Test cricket is about all five days, you may play one bad session and that will have an impact on the game itself.

“Jacques Kallis has been a fantastic cricketer, doesn’t talk much. Not just the runs he scored or the wickets he took, even the catches he took. He gave South Africa the luxury of playing an extra batsman. Youngsters will look up to him.”

Smith dedicated South Africa’s win to Kallis, and said: “An incredible win, considering the weather and that they were 180 for 1 on the first day. India always difficult, one of the teams we haven’t beaten in a while. At Wanderers we were behind the game for 90% of the time…to see Dale bowling like that this morning, Robbie P four wickets today.

“Kallis…he’ll play a lot of golf now I know. We have enjoyed time in many, many dressing rooms. He’s an outstanding human being, it’s been a privilege to get to know him as a person.”

Steyn was named Man of the Match for his nine wickets. 

“I’m pretty stoked,” he said. “Jacques sat us down on the second day and said he didn’t want this game to end in a draw. Pretty proud of that (350 wickets), but it won’t happen if I wasn’t part of this incredible team I’m part of. Got to thank the team and everybody else. I’ll remember the wicket of Pujara for a while, he’s a good batsman as well.”

AB de Villiers was named Man of the Series and said: “I’ve been working hard on my keeping, getting tips from Bouchie [Mark Boucher] on the side, mainly abusing me (laughs). I really enjoyed the keeping, and the Test win. I enjoyed all the criticism Steyn was getting in Jo’burg as I knew something was brewing in his system, a man for the big occasion.

“I consider myself very lucky to have played in Kallis’ last Test, very special to walk around the ground and think of all those memories. He’s been a rock to this team.”

Speaking in the last post-match presentation ceremony of his Test career, Kallis said: “Tough call (to retire from Tests). It’s been incredible, the way people have come out to support me, the way CSA and my team-mates have made it a special game. I still had the same butterflies ahead of this game, thanks to MS and the team for the guard of honour, I was glad I didn’t face the next ball then.

“I’ve been fortunate to have had great coaches throughout the career, my friends and family have put up with me being away, will be nice to catch up with them. So many people to thank. Two of the most important people, who aren’t there, so ‘Mum, Dad I hope I’ve made you proud’.”

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