Kallis punishes England

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England had no answer as a determined Jacques Kallis took control for South Africa at Centurion on day one of the four-Test series.

Kallis (112 not out), playing as a specialist batsman because of his broken rib, proved he has lost none of his hunger for runs and showed a tiring attack no mercy with his 32nd Test hundred in a stumps total of 262 for four.



His 177-ball century - his sixth against England - was powered by personal intent on his return from injury, but it also underpinned a significant statement of collective South African ambition this winter.



For England, Andrew Strauss' understandable decision to bowl first backfired in glorious sunshine but on a pitch still displaying the green patches that had startled so many yesterday.



The selection of only a three-man pace attack, to accommodate extra batsman Ian Bell, was also far from vindicated - particularly with Graham Onions out of the equation for two hours from mid-afternoon onwards because of a calf strain.



The sight of Paul Collingwood and Jonathan Trott's medium-pace helping to eke out time until the second new ball - with Graeme Swann bowling unchanged for 24 overs from the pavilion end - was ominous.



After the near immediate and runless departure of captain Graeme Smith to Stuart Broad this morning, England had to labour long and hard for only three further gains in more than six hours.



Kallis batted as if he had never been away, in South Africa's first Test since March and his first innings in any cricket for more than a month.



He survived an lbw appeal review on 35 when James Anderson thought he had hit him just in line with off-stump - a case that remained unproven - while Ashwell Prince had earlier benefited from a successful first recourse in this series to the new system.



On that occasion, with Prince 19 on his way to a typically stoic 45, Steve Davis overturned his own lbw verdict.



It seemed there must surely be some early help for England's pace bowlers - and Broad duly had the big wicket of Smith with only his third delivery, in the second over of the match.



He pushed a short ball down the leg-side but a little extra bounce saw Smith edge behind for a diving Matt Prior to take an athletic catch.



It was Onions who thought he had a second wicket when he hit Prince on the back foot and initially won the lbw call - only for Davis to rule in the batsman's favour after all, the review indicating the ball was easily clearing the stumps.



Onions had his head in his hands again when Hashim Amla brought up the home 50 by edging a boundary just high and wide of third slip.



But the England seamer was celebrating seconds later after Amla edged the next ball low, this time to second slip, to bring Kallis to the crease.



A hectic passage of play continued when Prince - on 21 - chipped Anderson to square-leg, where Alastair Cook just failed to cling onto a one-handed chance over his head.



England opted for Swann in early afternoon - and the off-spinner had a wicket with his second ball, bringing Prince forward and turning one enough to have the left-hander edging a regulation catch to slip.



Kallis and new batsman AB de Villiers tried to unsettle Swann, the former hitting him over long-on for six and midwicket for four as his first three overs cost 24 runs.



Anderson used up England's first review on the Kallis lbw call - and with De Villiers also surviving when the tourists thought they had him caught behind sweeping at Swann, both their chances to query initial calls were gone.



There was swift consolation, though, because De Villiers fell to the same bowler without addition when he pushed a sharp catch to short-leg just before tea.



The evening session was all about Kallis mercilessly cashing in on his investments, accompanied by JP Duminy in an unbroken century stand.



As England's options dwindled, Kallis picked off 14 fours - to add to his six - the penultimate one a mistimed hook at Broad with the second new ball that cruelly evaded Onions on the fine-leg boundary to bring up his hundred.



England even risked Onions again for two overs before the close but, on a pitch that had played much better than it looked, albeit with occasional uneven bounce, they were way off the pace at this very early stage of a long battle.



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