With South African legend Jacques Kallis deciding to retire after the Durban Test against India, we look back at five of the veteran’s best knocks in Test matches during the course of his glorious career.
101 vs Australia at Melbourne, December 1997
A first Test hundred is always special for any cricketer, and the case is no different with Kallis. What would have pleased him even more was the fact that it came against the Aussies, who were back among the strongest sides in world cricket. Also, the knock came when South Africa were under pressure in the fourth innings. The visitors were bowled out for a paltry 186 in their first innings, and were set a tough target of 381 to win the Test. They were in a definite spot of bother when they crumbled to 88 for 3. Kallis, however, held one end up and rescued the Proteas. He batted for 357 minutes and 279 balls for his 101as South Africa saved the Test.
155 vs Pakistan at Karachi, October 2007
The true Test of a cricketer comes when he succeeds away from home. Kallis did this in a major way against Pakistan at Karachi. South Africa batted first in the game, the first Test of the series and Kallis made a stroke-filled 155 from 249 balls with the aid of 19 fours. South Africa ended with 450 in their first essay. After keeping Pakistan down to 291 courtesy Paul Harris’ five-wicket haul, Kallis was again in his elements in the second innings – compiling an unbeaten 100 off 201 balls as South Africa declared on 264 for 7 and set the hosts 424 for an improbable victory. Dale Steyn’s five-for took South Africa to a 160-run triumph.
132 vs India at Ahmedabad, April 2008
After India were blown away for 76 courtesy Dale Steyn’s five-for, Kallis ensured that the bowlers’ great work did not go in vain. AB de Villiers was the real hero with his unbeaten 217, but Kallis played a great supporting knock himself. He contributed 132 from 275 balls with 14 fours and one six. The massive partnership between Kallis and de Villiers took South Africa to 494 for 7 before they declared. Trailing by over 400, India batted with some gusto but managed only 328, Ganguly’s 87 being the highest as South Africa won by an innings and 90 runs.
224 vs Sri Lanka at Cape Town, January 2012
Kallis registered his best Test score in this match. South Africa batted first and amassed 580 for 4, with Kallis blasting 224 from 325 balls with 31 fours and one six. In reply Sri Lanka managed only 239 and 342 in their two visits to the crease as South Africa won the Test by 10 wickets.
182 not out vs England at Kennington Oval, July 2012
This match is best remembered for Hashim Amla’s marathon knock of 311 not out, but Kallis also played a great knock himself. His unbeaten 182 came from 326 balls with 23 fours and one six as South Africa declared on 637 for 2. England stumbled to an innings and 12-run loss.
--By A Cricket Analyst