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Barca attack picking up steam

Barcelona 8 hours ago
Nov 13, 2012

Age does not weary Kallis

While Australia's 37-year-old batting great fell to his third duck in three Tests against South Africa, Jacques Kallis keeps getting better for the Proteas.

Kallis once again confirmed his greatness with a commanding 147 at the Gabba on Sunday before former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting lasted just five balls in reply.

Ponting's troubles against Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel have highlighted his late-career slide from being the most feared batsman in the game to one fighting to hang on to his position.

It was Morkel who this time dismissed him late on day three at the Gabba, inducing an edge to Kallis at second slip, that left Australia in dire straits at 3-40 in reply to the tourists' 450.

Ponting's slide has been attributed to old age with his sharp eye-sight dulling and even sharper reflexes slowing.

But, also at 37 and batting at second-drop, Kallis hasn't suffered the same weariness of age.

His 349-minute first Test knock, finished by a spectacular catch at gully by Rob Quiney, was the highest by a South African at the Gabba and showed he remains at the top of his game.

Kallis only sits behind Sachin Tendulkar, Ponting and Rahul Dravid as the Test cricket's leading run-scorer and his excellent average of 57.38 exceeds his peers, while his 44 Test tons is second to Tendulkar (51).

For a long time, the barrel-chested allrounder's reputation has unfairly been left in the shade compared to Tendulkar, Ponting and Brian Lara due to his methodical approach and less destructive game.

But at the Gabba he raced to 84 on the opening day on a slow and spongy pitch - rotating singles and punishing loose balls in a pivotal third-wicket stand with Hashim Amla.

"I've been playing pretty well over the last couple of years and scoring at a decent rate," Kallis said after day three's play.

"I feel like I'm getting into good positions which is the key to batting and you need some luck to go with it, so may it continue.

"I was happy with the way I played, it was tough this (Sunday) morning, I felt Oz bowled really well, they got the ball in good areas and with the wicket being under cover for a day it was hard work this morning."

Also in a good sign for the tourists, Kallis, among the game's best-ever allrounders with 280 Test wickets at 32, declared himself fit to bowl at the Australians after starting the match with a niggle.


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