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Kallis nears ton on Test swansong

Jacques Kallis is on course for a century in his final Test as South Africa closed in on a first-innings lead against India at Durban.

Kallis had reached 79 when rain brought about a premature end to day three of the second Test, with the hosts 299 for five responding to India’s 334 all out.

Jacques Kallis takes the acclaim of the crowd at Durban after reaching his fiftyThe all-rounder, who announced his intention to retire from Tests on Christmas Day, reached his 150th international fifty and 59th in Tests as he and AB de Villiers got their side back into the contest after they had been reduced to 113 for three.

Resuming on 82 without loss, Alviro Petersen reached 50 and took his partnership with Graeme Smith past 100, but three quick wickets gave the tourists the advantage.

Smith was the first to be ousted when Shikhar Dhawan took a stunning catch over his shoulder after the South Africa skipper attempted to launch Ravindra Jadeja over midwicket when on 47.

Hashim Amla and Petersen then departed in successive balls, the former making only three before having his off stump removed by Mohammed Shami and the latter edging Jadeja behind for 62.

But Kallis and de Villiers steadied proceedings, putting on 127 for the fourth wicket. Kallis scored much slower than his partner, with de Villiers taking 87 balls to reach his 34th Test fifty, 44 deliveries fewer than the retiring 38-year-old.

But it was only Kallis who remained in place at the end of the day, as de Villiers became Jadeja’s third victim when he edged to first slip for 74.

Jadeja would take a fourth scalp - trapping JP Duminy lbw - but Kallis looked well set before the rain arrived.

He will return tomorrow - at an early start of 9.30am local time and joined by Dale Steyn - needing 21 more runs to finish his five-day career with a flourish and 35 to take his side past India’s total.

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