CAPE TOWN: Jacques Kallis hit his 41st Test century and Alviro Petersen was unbeaten on 99 as South Africa punished the Sri Lankan bowling attack on the first day of the third and final Test at Newlands on Tuesday.
South Africa were 236 for two at tea after being sent in to bat.Kallis, playing in his 150th Test match, was on 103 not out.
It was a triumphant return to form for Kallis, playing on his home town ground after making the first ‘pair’ of his career during South Africa’s defeat in the second Test in Durban. He was in imperious form as he reached his half-century off 37 balls and his century off 114 deliveries with 17 fours.
With the series tied at 1-1, Sri Lankan captain Tillekeratne Dilshan gambled by sending South Africa in. Hopes that a green-tinged pitch would help his fast bowlers were soon shown to be mistaken, while early morning cloud soon cleared on what became an ideal day for batting.
Fast bowler Dhammika Prasad, replacing the injured Dilhara Fernando, had early success for Sri Lanka, dismissing South African captain Graeme Smith for 16 with his first ball of the match and following up with the wicket of Hashim Amla, also for 16.
But Petersen, making his first appearance of the series, played an assured innings as he and Kallis took command during a record South African third wicket partnership against Sri Lanka, which was worth 180 by tea.
The Sri Lankans seldom looked likely to take a wicket and they squandered their allocation of reviews when umpire Richard Kettleborough twice gave Kallis not out when Chanaka Welegedera appealed for leg before wicket decisions. On both occasions the umpire was shown to be right. (AFP)