Ranking Jacques Kallis' Top 5 Test Centuries
Jacques Kallis bows out of Test cricket having scored a hundred in his final match. It was a slow and tentative knock, but it was very much needed in the position South Africa was in.
It's something the big man has done time and time again. Picking and ranking Kallis' top five hundreds is very much subjective and with 45 to choose from, there are almost certainly a few which have been glossed over.
Add your favourite knocks in the comments.
5. 182 vs. England, the Oval 2012
The thing with Kallis is that very few of his efforts are imprinted on the memory because so many of them were so painstakingly slow. There's nothing wrong with being slow and steady, of course.
His effort against England at The Oval in 2012 stands out because of the part it played in the mammoth partnership which set South Africa on course for a win in the first Test. Kallis and Hashim Amla combined for an unbeaten 377-run partnership to put the Proteas on course for an innings victory.
4. 101 vs. Australia, Melbourne 1997
Back in the day, when Australia were still able to beat South Africa in Australia, and the two sides still exchanged Boxing Day privileges, Kallis scored a match-saving hundred.
After Australia posted 309 in their first innings, South Africa stuttered in their reply and managed just 186. Australia made 257 in their second innings and South Africa needed to hold on for almost two days.
The top order of Gary Kirsten and Adam Bacher slumped to 88-2 and Kallis was the glue that kept the side together with 101 off 279. Barring Hansie Cronje, his teammates around him fumbled, but South Africa held on to draw the match.
3. 161 and 109* vs. India, Newlands 2011
South Africa and India drew their series in 2010-11, but it could so very well have been a victory for India if it weren't for Kallis scoring not one, but two hundreds in one game.
India won the toss and elected to field, something which proved to be a good decision as the hosts stumbled to 362 all out in their innings. Just two players managed to pass 50, Kallis being one of them with a steady 161 off 291 balls.
India responded in similar fashion, posting 364 all out in reply, meaning South Africa needed a big second innings total to keep them in the game.
Once again just two players managed something of significance with the bat. Just two passed the 50-run mark, Kallis and Mark Boucher.
Kallis stood firm for his unbeaten 109 off 240 to help South Africa to 341 all out. That knock included memorable reverse sweeps off Harbhajan Singh, a slight reminder that Kallis, sometimes, can be as entertaining as he is effective.
2. 201* vs. India, Centurion 2010
Despite having played Test cricket for over a decade, Kallis never managed to score a double hundred, until December 2010, that is.
Once again, India were on the receiving end of his batting prowess. After skittling India out for 136 in their first innings, South Africa amassed 620 runs in reply, with Kallis adding 201 of those. He finished unbeaten and finally managed to the get the double-ton monkey off his back.
1. 162 vs. England, Durban 2004
The importance of hundreds can be much debated, but when it comes to memorable and reliable efforts, few of Kallis' knocks standout as much as his 162 against England in Durban back in 2004.
South Africa won the toss and elected to field in the Boxing Day clash, skittling England for 139 in their first innings. With England having won the first Test, it would have been a good time for South Africa to fight back, but their batting let them down.
All batting except for Kallis, that is. He scored 162 off 264, the only batsman to pass 50 in that innings. He helped South Africa go from 90-5 to 332 all out to give them some sort of hope of getting a positive result. England were far more impressive in their second innings, though, and the match ended with a draw.
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