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India fightback with the bat after Kallis’ maiden double ton

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Jacques Kallis 201 CenturionIndia staged a fightback with the bat in the second innings but lost the well set Sehwag and Gambhir by Stumps on the third day after facing a huge deficit of 484 runs. The visitors ended the day’s play at 190 for 2 in 44.1 overs before bad light prevented any further action. Rahul Dravid on 28* (from 48 balls with 5 fours) is at the crease along with night watchman Ishant Sharma at the close. South Africa had declared its first innings at 620 for 4 with Jacques Kallis registering his maiden double century while AB de Villiers recorded the fastest ever Test century by a South African.

The third day’s play started through a flurry of boundaries for Hashim Amla but he didn’t prolong his stay any longer after getting caught down the legside by the Keeper off a wayward inswinger from Ishant Sharma. Amla fell for 140 which came in just 202 balls with 14 fours and a six while putting up a massive stand of 230 runs for the third wicket with Kallis. AB de Villiers, who came in next motored along with Kallis and by lunch brought up a sensational century in just 75 balls! Kallis got to 182 by the end of that session while taking SA to 591 for 3.

Eventually after the lunch break, Kallis got the monkey off his back by reaching his elusive maiden double century. South Africa declared its innings at 620 for 4 in 130.1 overs when AB de Villiers attempted a big shot off Ishant to be caught behind after a 112-ball 129 which contained 12 fours and 5 sixes. Kallis remained unbeaten on 201 from 270 balls with 15 fours and 5 sixes. Both Sehwag and Gambhir walked in after that and by Tea put up a rapid 92 for no loss in just 17 overs. The pitch was playing very good for the batsmen but there was enough pace and bounce from Steyn and Morkel to keep them challenged all the time. The weather at this time was drastically changing with lots of dark clouds building up in the sky to give hopes of a rain interruption for India but that didn’t happen at all for some reason.

The final session saw the Indian openers continue their strokeplay freely and both batsmen had a chance each when their full blooded shots were put down in the infield. It was in the 30th over when Sehwag caused a heart-breaking moment for India when he danced down the track to attempt a predetermined lofted shot off Harris. Sehwag could only miscue the wide ball in the air and get nicely caught by the running Graeme Smith at wide mid off. The right hander was well set on 63 from 79 balls (with 9 fours and a six) before gifting his wicket to the harmless Harris. Around ten overs later, Gautam Gambhir departed after getting an unplayable short delivery from Dale Steyn which shot low from round the sticks to have him plumb in front. Gambhir was cruising through until then with a 124-ball 80 with 10 fours. After Gambhir’s exit,  the fluent looking Dravid was joined by night watchman Ishant Sharma who comfortably survived 16 balls before the close.

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