South Africa v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Cape Town, 2nd day January 4, 2012

Cuddles for Kallis in batsmen renaissance

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the second day of the third Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka at Cape Town

Chance of the day
Sri Lanka only had to wait until the third over of the day to get some luck but they wasted it almost as quickly as it came. Dhammika Prasad got one to nip away and take Jacques Kallis' outside edge. Mahela Jayawardene, who was at second slip, had to react quickly and reach low to his left to pouch it. He managed to get a thumb to the ball but only helped it on its path to the third-man boundary. Jayawardene had a second opportunity to get take a catch off Kallis ten overs later, when Angelo Matthews induced the outside edge. The chance was a tough one and flew between keeper and slip before Jayawardene could react.

Milestone of the day
Kallis waited 15 years before scoring his first double-century in Tests, a feat he achieved against India in Centurion last year. But it only took 13 months and 12 innings for him to notch up a second, at his home ground in Cape Town. Instead of a classic drive or pulverising pull, it came with a dab down to point and a well-run couple. The celebration that followed was a classic. Kallis leapt in the air, waving his bat and gesturing emphatically to the changing room. As he did when he brought up his century on the first day, Kallis turned a full 360 degrees and acknowledged every part of the crowd, who were on their feet. Long-time friend Mark Boucher had the camera out in the dressing room to capture an unforgettable moment for the man long acknowledged as South Africa's best cricketer.

Cricket-tragic stat of the day
After the thrill of the bowler's year in 2011, the tables were bound to turn in favour of batsmen at some point. In the New Year's Tests at the moment, they have. With milestones being crossed by South Africa's batsmen, one of the more obscure ones was achieved when Jacques Rudolph worked a short ball to fine leg, to take South Africa to 483 for 4. It carried them past Australia's overnight total of 482 for 4 against India in Sydney.

Shot of the day
AB de Villiers and Rudolph took 87 runs off the last 10 overs South Africa faced. They played audaciously throughout: cutting, pulling, scooping and lashing, and in that period de Villiers played the shot of the day. He backed away to Rangana Herath and lofted a back-foot drive towards the cover boundary. He executed the shot from an incredible angle, adding to his already impressive repertoire of strokes.

Affection of the day
No one was happier to see Kallis' achievements than his girlfriend, Shamone Jardim, who enjoyed every run from the WAGS box. She arrived on day two proudly wearing a t-shirt that read "I [heart] my bf" and a cardboard cut-out of the man himself to keep her company through the day. When the television cameras panned to her, with South Africa in the field, she played along and pouted up to the paper Kallis for the big screen. The image had the stadium in giggles and Kallis blushing on the park, so much that de Villiers rushed over to envelope him in an embrace.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • philip on January 6, 2012, 6:12 GMT

    How can anyone question that Kallis is now possibly the greatest cricketer of all time? He has over 12000 runs. Sure, Tendulkar has more runs but he has played 40 more test matches than Kallis (Ponting has played 20 more innings). And then there are the 271 wickets Kallis has taken (no standing around resting in the field like Tendulkar). And then there are the 170 catches Kallis has taken (compared to Tendulkar's 107). So no resting in the field even when he isn't bowling. As for boring? Well, Kallis has hit 88 sixes in Test matches (the same as Lara; Tendulkar only 67, Ponting only 77). Should I go on? Is there any other cricketer in history who can compare to the comprehensive contribution to Test cricket made by Kallis? He is, without doubt, the greatest of all time.

  • Dummy4 on January 5, 2012, 10:52 GMT

    @Mark Souza: I know right! Watching the great Don play was amazing.., I can't even describe how beautiful his style was... lemme haul my 95 year old *** over to you and give you a great big camaraderie-filled hug!

    Oh wait...on second thoughts as you've never seen the Don play, how about you stop touting statistical giants and just watch and appreciate the beautiful game. If Kallis bored you, you should have switched over to Punter and Clarke's magic. But you're only here to flame aren't you...

  • i on January 5, 2012, 10:31 GMT

    @Mark Souza: Not only does Kallis average 50 plus, scored runs against every opposition and in every format he is a damn good fast bowler and slipper too! So when you factor in everything he is a legend! So just to call him a batter is actually a sleigh because he is the best all rounder the game has seen! As for Tendulkar great player no doubt! Lara was true class but the others would not even be worth cleaning his boots!

  • Dummy4 on January 5, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    yes the cardboard cutout was cute, if embarrassing, but the sign of the day surely has to be the one held up by the spectator that read: "marry me, kallis" and, on the reverse, "ek's nie mooi nie, maar maklik". afrikaans wit, now there's something you don't see often. incidentally, she hedged her bets on the marry me side - she was prepapred to make do with morne morkel. from chris (watching the match on sky in suffolk)

  • Dummy4 on January 5, 2012, 8:47 GMT

    Mark Souza, nice to have a newcomer to cricket on the site and trying to comment, even if it is an ignorant comment. Keep watching and learning and you will get better. To JK - well done on being a great ambassador for the sport and your country!

  • Ridwan on January 5, 2012, 7:48 GMT

    To Mark Souza, you obviously havent watched him play the last 3 years I can tell you that in tests in the last 3 years he has batted with more flair than Teldulkar but not as much flair as Lara

  • Dummy4 on January 5, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    Mark Souza !! J. Kallis has made tons throughout the world and have won matches for S.A. not like Tendulker ! no offence to the great player Tendulker but what i want to say is that Kallis scores tons on green top pitches always, btw where is the green top pitch in India ???

  • Zubair on January 5, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    Labeling someone the greatest will always be subjective, but you can't argue about his achievements. He has reinvented himself in the last few years and has been SA's premier batsmen since before then. Perhaps we should also degrade Michael Clarke's triple because at the moment there is only one test quality bowler in the Indian team.

  • Dummy4 on January 5, 2012, 3:59 GMT

    Greatest? Oh please. Kallis just got his second double, on a flat pitch against a mediocre bowling attack. His first one was against an even worse bowling attack. Most fans would fall asleep watching him bat. He is nowhere near the class of The Don, Tendulkar, Lara or De Silva. Even Sangakkara is a much classier batsman.

  • James on January 5, 2012, 0:01 GMT

    Well done Kallis. He is the best allrounder of all time.I seriously diagree with Icc rankings. What is al Hasan doing at the top?

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