CAPE TOWN, (Reuters) – Ashwell Prince and Jacques Kallis scored centuries to help South Africa move into a strong position on the second day of the third test against Australia yesterday.
The hosts ended the day on 404 for three, stretching their first innings lead to 195 runs over the frustrated Australians.
Australia, who have an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, were bowled out for 209 on the first day.
The South Africans took advantage of a flat pitch under clear blue skies, with Prince scoring 150 and Kallis unbeaten on 102.
“South Africa have lifted their game and haven’t let us play as well as we would have liked, although the boys tried very well,” Australia coach Tim Nielsen told reporters.
“Not many people are bouncing around the changing room and it’s the first time this young bowling attack has had to struggle through a long, hard day of test cricket. It’s been a very tough day today, but it will be character building.” Kallis, the acting South African captain in the absence of the injured Graeme Smith, completed his hundred shortly before the close and made no effort to hide his delight having last reached three figures 13 tests ago in April 2008 against India in Ahmedabad.
Umpire Asad Rauf originally ruled the single that took Kallis from 99 to 100 had been a leg-bye, but later changed his decision to a run after the third umpire confirmed the batsman had hit the ball with a thick inside edge.
The decision led to a brief tiff between the umpires and Australia’s captain Ricky Ponting.
Prince, opening the batting for the first time in his career after being a middle order batsman in his previous 47 tests, scored fluently as he needed just 152 balls for his century. The left-hander’s mix of solid technique, sound shot selection and punchy scoring strokes meant the Australian attack struggled to contain him.
Prince blasted 19 fours and two sixes in his 249-ball knock before being controversially dismissed after tea. Third umpire Billy Bowden overturned Steve Bucknor’s not out decision as the Australians appealed for a catch down the leg side, believing the left-hander had got a glove to a delivery from Ben Hilfenhaus.
AB de Villiers maintained the flow of runs as he cruised to 39 not out, working the ball into the gaps with ease, while Kallis continued to tear into the bowling. He struck 14 fours and two sixes off 157 balls. Imraan Khan (20), Hashim Amla (46) were the only other scalps Australia claimed on day two.
Debutant Khan offered a sharp return catch to Peter Siddle, while Mitchell Johnson removed Amla after he edged a limp-footed drive to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.