England v SA, 1st Investec Test, The Oval, 4th day July 22, 2012

Kallis dedicates great day to Boucher

George Dobell and Firdose Moonda at The Oval
ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the fourth day at The Oval

Dedication of the Day
With Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis both starting the fourth day with milestones imminent, emotion was guaranteed. Amla reached 200 with a perfectly-placed back-foot drive and celebrated long, but carefully. Kallis was more emphatic when he reached three figures. With arms raised he soaked in warm applause and then gestured to his eye with a small nod of the head. Although Kallis had pointed to his right eye instead of his left, it was a tribute to his best friend, Mark Boucher, whose left-eye injury forced him to retire at the start of the tour. Kallis and Boucher, friends for almost two decades, were the longest-serving members of the South African squad and also live next door to each other.

Achievement of the Day
Before today, no South African batsman had scored 300 runs in a Test match. AB de Villiers' 278 stood as the tallest mountain and when Hashim Amla went past him, De Villiers was shown on camera cheering him on. It took 35 balls from the time Amla broke that record to the time he brought up 300. There were some nerves when Tim Bresnan trapped him on the pads and appealed vociferously but otherwise his usual calm predominated. The milestone came with a drive through the covers, Amla's signature shot of the innings. As he jogged down the pitch, he punched the air - a first for a usually understated man. The Oval crowd were on the feet for a full minute.

Big call of the Day
Graeme Smith has been criticised for sometimes being too conservative. Today, he went the other way. At tea, with South Africa 252 runs ahead with eight wickets in hand and Jacques Kallis on 182, Smith decided they would bat no more. He gave his bowlers four sessions to bowl England out and left open the possibility that South Africa might have to chase a small target. With a series lead at stake, it was a daring move.

Commitment of the Day
The score was 628 for 2 when James Anderson, rushing around the cover boundary, dived full length to turn what had appeared to be a certain four into a two. For a man who had bowled 41 overs - and not taken a wicket since his second - it was a fine effort. While such episodes were of small consolation, this was a day of little joy for England and such a moment at least hinted at the spirit, the fitness and the determination of Anderson and his colleagues.

Stat of the Day
By the South Africa declared on 637 for 2, England's bowlers had taken their last three Test wickets for a cost of 780 runs, in a period stretching back to the Edgbaston Test against West Indies where Tino Best and Denesh Ramdin added 143 for the tenth wicket. For the No. 1 Test side who pride themselves on possessing a fine bowling attack, that is a major stain on their record.

Telling moment of the Day:
Some England supporters argued with gateman around the tea interval after demanding their money back. Their point, as far as it was possible to tell through the somewhat inebriated slurring of words, was that they had come to watch a game of cricket but had been bored by the lack of a contest. They argued in vain. While those supporting England might have been disappointed, the pleasure of watching Amla should have provided ample compensation.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Martin on July 24, 2012, 10:16 GMT

    kh1902 Please could you explain your criteria for greatness in a cricketer, because I am puzzled. If a bowler is only great if he takes wickets when his teammates fail to that would cast doubt on the greatness of Lillee and Thompson, Marshall, Holding, Garner and Roberts, Akram and Younis, and in fact on the theory that great bowlers hunt in pairs. If a batsman is only great when he is the sole member of the side to score significant runs, does that mean that Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman and Sehwag and Hayden, Ponting, Waugh and Gilchrist are all mediocre talents? It would also mean that great partnerships such as Kallis and Amla's and Sangakkara and Jayawardene's aren't significant. Cricket is a team sport and Kallis is a team man who has contributed massively to the Proteas' success in the years he has played. The fact that he played with Kirsten, Gibbs and Cullinan and Donald, Pollock and Steyn does not diminish his skills and achievements - it enhances them because he stands out.

  • Martin on July 24, 2012, 9:54 GMT

    kh1902, you like to generalise and make unsubstantiated statements. "People on this forum" do not all go by stats alone. Had you read my previous comment you'd have seen that I think stats are a guideline only. Cricket followers, writers and players have extolled Kallis's virtues for years, not just since he passed 12000 runs. That's nonsense. He has retained his spot in the top ten current batsmen and top 30 bowlers for over a decade, and was also the number 1 all rounder until recently. He's consistently had a batting average over 55. 50 is generally regarded as the mark of a very good batsman. Yes, stats don't tell the whole story, but there is no way a player could maintain such consistency over more than a decade without being great. Please explain what you have against Jacques Kallis being regarded as a great player. Why has he got so many not outs? Because the opposition bowlers failed to dismiss him. Whose fault is that? Ponting in India ave 26. KP in SA 25. Sobers in NZ 15.

  • Dummy4 on July 23, 2012, 15:40 GMT

    Kallis is the best all rounder in the present set of cricketers.It is all about his hard work, determination and the will to succeed that he has come this far.He plays cricket with passion and hunger to win for his country not just for records and centuries and his success reflects it.I had previously also commented that it is only a matter of time before he succeeds in England.His worth can only be measured by the value he provides with the bat and ball and the comparisons between him and Tendulkar are nothing but absurd.He deserves all the accolades that come his way irrespective of the no. of centuries he scores.

  • Kamala on July 23, 2012, 15:05 GMT

    People on this forum judge Kallis purely on stats. It's only now that he's accumulated over 12,000 runs that people speak about him. Why was he never spoken about before? Because he's never done anything to warrant a mention. Scoring runs when 2 or 3 other batsmen do doesn't make you great. How do you explain his repeated failures in England prior to this innings? In 5 years time people will look at his enhanced stats and say that he can bat in England, based on one large not out innings on a flat track. That sums up Kallis - statistical distortions (note the large % of times he is not out, boosting his average) obscure his failures because he plays in a team with the bowlers who can win test matches.

    As for the argument that he carried SA - that's not really true. SA have always had bowlers who can bowl and that is what test cricket is about. You're really belittling bowlers of the calibre of Donald and Pollock by making comments like that. Not to mention batsmen like Kirsten.

  • SUNIL on July 23, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    Kallis is surely one of the greats of modern day cricket.. there is no point comparing players from different era... surely his name ranks among the top 3.. you cant analyse the opposition..pitches..bowlers faced..conditions played.. there are so many factors..and makes absolute rubbish to compare any 2 players.. let us admire all the great players from each countries without ranking them. Sunil

  • Dummy4 on July 23, 2012, 11:32 GMT

    @everybodylovessachin: "Time will tell" how good Kallis is? How much more time do you need? After more than a decade, in all conditions, against all attacks, he has stats in all three disciplines that no single player will ever be able to match. Is he the greatest all-rounder of all time? Is he the best batsman of his generation? I don't care about those kinds of arguments. His stats show him to be walking in the company of players who stand head and shoulders above the masses. I'm just enjoying watching him play while I still can. Believe it or not, he won't be around forever.

  • Deon on July 23, 2012, 11:31 GMT

    Kallis now has 39 Test centuries. Tendulkar has 43. He is catching up fast. (I am of course excluding Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.)

  • Aditya on July 23, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    with over 24500 runs, 550 wickets, and 300 catches Jacques Henry Kallis is the BEST CRICKETER EVER (bol diya)! - everyone else, awaaz niche!

  • rahul on July 23, 2012, 9:13 GMT


  • James on July 23, 2012, 8:43 GMT

    In 'Telling moment of the Day' you are joking right? How fickle some fans can be! We are still No1 and haven't lost this yet (though odds say we are expected to) but then there's 2 more tests left.

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