Cricket: Kallis keeps Warne at bay to save Test

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Australia 309 & 257

South Africa 186 & 273-7

Match drawn

Jacques Kallis' maiden Test century, which saved South Africa from defeat in the opening Test against Australia in Melbourne yesterday, was a dream come true for the former Middlesex batsman.

The 22-year-old right-hander has had a tenuous hold on the tourists' troublesome No 3 position, with an undistinguished average of 16.62. But a match-saving 101 over 357 minutes left Kallis, who played for Middlesex last season, in ecstatic mood.

"You start your cricketing career and that's your dream to score a Test 100 and to get it on the last day when you are saving a Test match at the MCG, that's an added bonus," Kallis said.

The crowning glory in Kallis' display was his handling of Australia's leg spinner, Shane Warne, on the threadbare pitch.

"The fifth day and the ball's turning, with one of the best bowlers in the world on - it was hard. But the whole side decided to be positive and took our focus for the whole day," Kallis added.

Kallis showed great resolve against the daunting Australian attack. In the over before tea, a Glenn McGrath ball hit him in the ribs and left him doubled him up in agony.

The defiant batsman faced 279 balls with six fours and occupied 92 of the 122 overs of the second innings as the tourists batted out the fifth and final day to reach safety on 273 for 7.

They were 108 runs behind Australia's two innings of 309 and 257, but were content to keep the three-match series alive going into the second Test starting in Sydney on Friday.

Hansie Cronje, the South African captain, believes Kallis has a big future in the South African team. "I don't think too much bothers him. I think he's very much like [the golfer] Ernie Els when he gets going, he's just very keen on doing a job and doing it well. He doesn't bother too many people and doesn't get up anyone's nose, he just carries on with the job."

Michael Bevan, the former Yorkshire player, has been recalled to the Australian 12 for the second Test. Bevan, a middle-order batsman and left- arm wrist-spinner, who will play for Sussex next summer, has replaced the fast bowler Andy Bichel, who was 12th man in Melbourne.

Bevan has not been in the Test side since losing his place during the Ashes series in England last summer.

Australia won toss

AUSTRALIA - First innings 309 (R T Ponting 105, S R Waugh 96; P L Symcox 4-69).

SOUTH AFRICA - First innings 186 (G Kirsten 83).

AUSTRALIA - Second innings 257 (P R Reiffel 79 no, M A Taylor 59; A A Donald 6-59).

SOUTH AFRICA - Second innings

(Overnight: 79 for 1)

A M Bacher c Taylor b Warne 39

J H Kallis b Reiffel 101

D J Cullinan b Warne 0

*W J Cronje c Taylor b S Waugh 70

B M McMillan c Taylor b Warne 16

S M Pollock not out 15

D J Richardson lbw b McGrath 11

L Klusener not out 6

Extras (b5, lb4, nb6) 15

Total (for 7, 122 overs) 273

Fall of wickets: 2-88, 3-88, 4-211, 5-229, 6-241, 7-260.

Bowling: McGrath 28-11-57-1; Reiffel 18-8-24-2; Kasprowicz 14-1-45-0; Warne 44-11-97-3; M.Waugh 10-0-25-0; S Waugh 7-2-12-1; Blewett 1-0-4-0.

Match of the match: J Kallis (SA).

Umpires: S Bucknor (WI) S Randell (Aus).