Kallis and De Villiers steady the South African ship

South Africa v Australia
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The Independent Online

Jacques Kallis and A B de Villiers steadied a rocky South African ship with a 130-run partnership to leave the Second Test against Australia in Durban evenly poised at the end of the second day. They had lost their captain, Graeme Smith, and Herschelle Gibbs for just 10 runs in reply to the tourists' 369 before Kallis and De Villiers played the hosts back into contention on 140 for two.

Smith got out in typical fashion - this time from the first ball of the innings - as he flashed outside off stump to Brett Lee's wide delivery and sent the ball to Justin Langer at third slip, while Gibbs was bowled by a superb delivery from Michael Kasprowicz to depart for nine. But De Villiers (48 not out) and Kallis (72 not out) battened down the hatches and initially weathered the storm before starting to play more and more expansively as they took South Africa past the 100 mark, bringing up their own century partnership in 151 balls.

Australia had resumed the day on 228 for 5 and scored more than 100 runs for their last three wickets as the tail wagged strongly to give them a first-innings score of 369.

Fast bowler Andre Nel struck twice early on after Mike Hussey and Andrew Symonds had taken the score past 250, trapping the latter leg before for a stubborn 13 and two overs later inducing the edge from Adam Gilchrist to remove the dangerous wicket- keeper for just two runs before Shane Warne's swashbuckling 36 off 31 balls was eventually ended by the bowling of Kallis when he was caught by De Villiers at extra cover.

Nel then claimed his third wicket of the day midway through the second session, trapping Kasprowicz for seven when a mistimed defensive shot saw him scoop the ball straight to De Villiers at first slip.

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