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Kirsten dedicates century to newborn son

Gary Kirsten dedicated his century to his wife and new son after helping South Africa amass a record total on the third day of the second Test.

india Updated: Dec 29, 2003 06:24 IST

Gary Kirsten dedicated his century to his wife and new son after helping South Africa amass a record total on the third day of the second test against West Indies on Sunday.

Kirsten scored 137 in South Africa's first innings 658 for nine declared, the highest test total scored by any team in the country.

Jacques Kallis made 177 and shared a South African record 249 runs for the fourth wicket with Kirsten as the home side built their lead to 394 before declaring.

Kirsten's innings was his 20th century and he became the first South African to reach 7,000 test runs.

He missed the first test in Johannesburg, which South Africa won by 189 runs, to be with his wife Deborah at the birth of their first child Joshua two weeks ago.

"It was an incredible experience (to be present at the birth)," Kirsten said. "I have no regrets about not playing test cricket to be there.

On Sunday Kirsten batted with aggression and said attitudes to faster scoring were changing in test cricket.

"We need to bat at a faster rate," he said. "Run rate has become important in test cricket, whereas in the old days maybe it wasn't so important. It just creates so much time in the game.

"We've got 600 runs on the board and there's still two days of cricket of left and both teams have batted already."

Kallis, who has a highest score of 189 not out against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo two years ago, said he was not disappointed to miss out on a double century.

"Hopefully I'll get there one day," Kallis said. "I'm getting closer, but it's not something that's going to haunt me for the rest of my life."

Kallis said South Africa would need to bowl with discipline to dismiss West Indies on what remains a sound pitch for batting.

"This is still pretty good for batting, so we're going to have to be patient and take the chances when they come.

"We've got the bowlers to create those chances and win the test match. Certainly, the West Indies are under a lot of pressure."

First Published: Dec 29, 2003 06:24 IST