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Before the big one, SA enjoy the starter

cricket Updated: Feb 03, 2010 23:37 IST
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South African batsmen made the most of their outing against Board President's XI on the second day of their two-day tour match. The South Africans play their first Test on February 6. Jacques Kallis made 63 and Hashim Amla 72 before both of them retired hurt to allow others to have valuable batting practice. In reply to BP XI's 318, the visitors made 354.

For the hosts, Piyush Chawla took 4-88, picking the wickets of AB de Villiers, Jean-Paul Duminy, Johan Botha and Wayne Parnell.

It was, however, a productive outing for the Proteas. All their major batsmen got a decent hit, and none of them looked in discomfort in adjusting to the conditions. Jacques Kallis took just about 40 minutes to reach to his fifty.

It was a fast-paced innings by Kallis, and there were no half measures. Before him, Ashwell Prince, Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla took their own sweet time to settle.

Prince and Amla began in a cautious manner. Defence first and attack later was the order of the day. All three top-order batsen got good scores. Although Prince looked the least comfortable of the three, he was never in trouble.

Kallis, meanwhile, went after the bowling right from the word go. He judged the length to perfection, better than others, and executed anything that was wide and short quite ably.

He played the horizontal bat shots — the cuts, pulls and square drives to perfection against the pace quartet of Abhimanyu Mithun, R Vinay Kumar, Manpreet Gony and Umesh Yadav. When the spinners, R Ashwin and Piyush Chawla, bowled, he didn't mind coming down the track to them, everytime they pitched the ball up.

Such was Kallis’s domination that, though he'd come into bat just before lunch, half an hour after the interval, he had reached fifty with a straight six off Chawla.