South Africa v West Indies, 2nd Test, Durban, 3rd day December 28, 2003

Kallis and Kirsten make Windies toil

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Close West Indies 264 and 18 for 0 (Hinds 7*, Ganga 4*) trail South Africa 658 for 9 dec (Kallis 177, Gibbs 142, Kirsten 137) by 376 runs

Jacques Kallis pulls en route to his 13th Test century
© Getty Images 2003

Jacques Kallis and Gary Kirsten rattled along to the highest fourth-wicket partnership in South Africa's Test history, as West Indies were torn limb from limb on the third day at Durban. By the time Graeme Smith eventually took mercy and declared with 10 overs of the day remaining, South Africa had compiled a humungous first-innings total of 658 for 9. It was the highest total ever recorded at Kingsmead, and South Africa's second-best score - second only to the 682 for 6 dec. with which they thumped England at Lord's last summer.

After Herschelle Gibbs's mighty performance on Saturday, Kirsten and Kallis were the mainstays of today's effort. Their eventual stand of 249 was 35 more than the previous record for South Africa's fourth wicket, set by Herbie Taylor and Nummie Deane against England at The Oval in 1929. When Kallis eventually fell, moments before tea, for a superb 177, the final session was a joyous romp for the likes of Neil McKenzie, Shaun Pollock and Andrew Hall.

Kallis recorded his 13th and second-highest Test century, and it was a fine follow-up to his matchwinning 158 in the first Test at Johannesburg. But it was Kirsten who really made the dents in the record-books, as he joined the elite band of cricketers who have scored 20 Test hundreds. He followed hot on the heels of Ricky Ponting, who yesterday became the 21st member of the club, and by the time he was caught at midwicket by Vasbert Drakes, he had also become the first South African to reach 7000 runs.

It was another ragged day's cricket from West Indies, who missed three catches in the first hour of play, and thereafter it was merely a case of shutting the stable door. The first life came in the fifth over of the morning, when Brian Lara fluffed a head-high chance at first slip, as Kirsten carved at Merv Dillon. He had made 22 at the time, and had progressed to 41 by the time Drakes in the gully failed to cling onto a fierce cut.

The ball very nearly rebounded to Carlton Baugh, but it was clearly wasn't West Indies's morning - moments earlier, Kallis had pulled loosely at Fidel Edwards, only for Drakes again to be left sprawling as the ball evaded his grasp.

After this flurry of let-offs, the rest of the morning was a breeze for South Africa. Kirsten celebrated his survival by smacking Edwards for consecutive fours, and by the drinks interval, Ramnaresh Sarwan had been drilled past point for Kallis to bring up his hundred from 205 balls.

Drakes's woes were compounded when Kirsten crashed him for four fours in consecutive balls - a cut, a pull and two sweetly timed drives - and Kirsten's only other moment of good fortune came when he under-edged Wavell Hinds past his stumps for four. It was a sign, however, that the pitch is starting to behave mischievously.

The mid-afternoon drinks break eventually did for Kirsten - two balls later he miscued Sarwan to Drakes at midwicket. In any ordinary circumstances, the incoming batsman McKenzie would have been on a hiding to nothing, but after taking a moment or two to get his eye in, he launched into the bowling, and clubbed three fours and a six in eight deliveries.

Kallis then fell in the penultimate over before tea, cutting Dillon straight to Ganga at point, but McKenzie signed off the session by slapping Fidel Edwards for another six over fine leg, as South Africa marched past their highest-ever total against West Indies - beating the record they set at Johannesburg earlier in the month. McKenzie fell soon afterwards, swishing at Drakes outside off stump, who followed up by trapping Boucher lbw for 12. But Pollock and Hall unfurled some fine declaration-hastening strokes, with Adam Sanford (3 for 170) taking a particular battering.

Daren Ganga and Hinds limped to the close without too many alarms, but with two days of this match remaining, there is little prospect of salvation for the West Indians, not even with Lara itching to celebrate his 100th Test in style.