Amla, Kallis give Proteas solid start
Amla, Kallis give Proteas solid start
The pair rammed home the advantage with an unbeaten century stand as the world’s best team blunted the Australian attack to have the South Africans in command after winning the toss.
When bad light stopped play eight overs before scheduled stumps, South Africa were 255 for two with Amla unbeaten on 90 and Kallis providing solid support on 84.
Kallis previously held his country’s aggregate record with current coach Gary Kirsten at 3592 runs in partnerships throughout 64 Tests, and has now surpassed that with Amla following their 136-run partnership for the third wicket.
At day’s end, the pair had accumulated 3607 runs together in their 58th Test while Amla, the number one-ranked Test batsman, passed 5,000 Test runs.
South Africa reached their position of strength through resolute batting on a flattening wicket, mixed with some missed Australian chances and the rub of the green.
It was a strong statement of intent by the South Africans in their bid to follow up their first-ever series win in Australia on their last tour, in 2008-09.
“We wanted to really put our peg in the ground and I think we did that really well,” opening batsman Alviro Petersen said.
“Two wickets down, we’re in a comfortable position but tomorrow’s going to be really important, to back that up and make sure today’s work doesn’t go to waste.” Kallis had a reprieve on 42 in the over after tea when he miscued Peter Siddle to mid-off where he was safely held by Nathan Lyon, but umpire Asaf Raud checked back whether Siddle had over-stepped.
Replays showed Siddle’s heel on the line and the TV umpire ruled a no-ball for Kallis to stay at the crease — much to Australia’s anguish.
Siddle added to Australia’s frustrations when he put down a caught and bowl chance six overs later when Amla was on 74 and South Africa at 206 for two.
Skipper Graeme Smith was out following a review in the 11th over after umpire Billy Bowden initially turned down James Pattinson’s lbw appeal.
Television replays clearly showed the ball hitting Smith’s back pad in front of the wicket and he was given out, with Pattinson enthusiastically celebrating the verdict.
Petersen had a controversial let-off when he appeared out lbw to a Ben Hilfenhaus inswinging yorker when on 51.
The Australians went for their third referral but the TV umpire ruled “umpire’s call” despite replays showing the ball first hitting Petersen’s leading foot and projected by Hawkeye technology to be heading for middle and off-stump.
It left Australia without access to further reviews for the rest of the South African innings.
But Petersen threw away his wicket on 64 when he hit Nathan Lyon straight to Michael Hussey at mid-on in the 39th over.
He angrily swooshed his bat in the air having passed up a good chance of his fifth century after spending 168 minutes at the crease.
Michael Clarke used six bowlers — even the modest medium pace of debutant Rob Quiney — in a bid to winkle a breakthrough, but it was a day the Australians were wanting to put behind them as they bid to stay unbeaten at the Gabba ground for 24 years.
“You can make excuses, but we probably lacked a bit of penetration and a bit of consistency and our maiden count was the big thing,” paceman Pattinson said.
“When it’s not playing as much as you would like, you probably want to dry up the runs a bit as we probably didn’t do that.” Australia earlier left out paceman Mitchell Starc and went with the spin of Lyon while the Proteas gave Rory Kleinveldt his Test debut in a four-strong pace attack.
Duminy out of tour
JP Duminy took some gloss off South Africa’s brilliant opening day in the first Test against Australia yesterday by being ruled out of the tour with an Achilles injury following play at the Gabba.
The lower-order batsman was warming down by kicking a rugby ball around with teammates on the playing field when he suffered the injury.
Duminy, 28, a star of South Africa’s historic 2-1 series victory in Australia four years ago, was carried from the ground by medical staff.
In a statement late yesterday the team said Duminy would “take no further part in the Test series” after rupturing his left Achilles tendon following what was described as a fitness training drill after the opening day.
Duminy could have played an important role for the Proteas in the remainder of the first Test with his off-spin after leg-spinner Imran Tahir was left out of the team for the Gabba opener.
“The diagnosis of an Achilles’ tendon rupture was confirmed by the MRI scan this evening and he will undergo surgery to re-attach the tendon this morning,” said team manager Mohammed Moosajee.
“He is obviously disappointed, but JP, being JP, is trying his best to stay positive, he says everything happens for a reason.”
LeBron’s 35 help Cavs beat Celtics 87-79, reach NBA Finals
- In the first close game of the series — and the lowest-scoring — James played all 48 minutes and had 12 of his points in the fourth quarter for his sixth straight Game 7 win.
- The NBA Finals begin Thursday at either Houston or Golden State.
BOSTON: With another Game 7 victory at stake, LeBron James would not miss. He would not sit out. And he would not be denied an eighth straight trip to the NBA Finals.
The four-time league MVP scored 35 points with 15 rebounds and nine assists on Sunday night, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to an 87-79 win over the Celtics and eliminating Boston from the Eastern Conference finals in the decisive seventh game.
In the first close game of the series — and the lowest-scoring — James played all 48 minutes and had 12 of his points in the fourth quarter for his sixth straight Game 7 win.
The NBA Finals begin Thursday at either Houston or Golden State. The Rockets host the seventh game of the West finals on Monday night.
Jayson Tatum scored 24 for Boston, which was looking to return to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010. Al Horford scored 17 points and Marcus Morris added 14 with 12 rebounds for the Celtics, who led 72-71 with six minutes remaining before the Cavaliers scored 15 of the next 17 points to pull away.
James and Horford embraced after the buzzer, then the Cavaliers donned NBA Finals hats and Eastern conference championship shirts before shuffling off the court to receive their trophy.
It’s not the one they want.
James had to do it without Kevin Love — Cleveland’s only other all-star — who sustained a concussion in Game 6 and was replaced in the lineup by Jeff Green. Making his first start since the first-round opener against Indiana, Green scored 19 points and added eight rebounds — the star of James’ starless supporting cast.
The Celtics have had more time to get used to their injuries: Gordon Hayward has been out since the first game of the season, and Kyrie Irving has been sidelined since March. With the rookie Tatum and second-year Jaylen Brown, Boston established itself as the team of the future in the East.
But the present still belongs to James.
And, for now, that means Cleveland, too.
Cavaliers: Shot just 2 of 17 from 3-point range in the first half. They made three of their first 22 shots before James and Green connected on back-to-back attempts midway through the third quarter.
Celtics: Paul Pierce, whose number was retired by the Celtics this season, cheered the team on from courtside. ... Rapper 21 Savage was also at the game. ... Boston was 7 for 39 from 3-point range, with Terry Rozier missing all 10 of his attempts.