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11-09-2012, 06:00 PM #1
South Africa in control against Australia
Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis can drive South Africa to a massive first-innings total after helping the Proteas reach a commanding 2-255 at stumps on day one of the first Test at the Gabba.
The pair looks unmovable at the crease and will likely take their superb partnership - currently worth 136 - to another level if they can get past the new ball on Saturday morning.
Play was abandoned as soon as Australian skipper Michael Clarke signaled his intentions to take the new ball, with umpires deciding the light was not good enough to continue.
As assured as Amla (90 not out) and Kallis (85 not out) appear at the crease, both are only there because they survived major scares involving the luckless Peter Siddle (0-58).
The Victorian paceman thought he had removed Kallis with the fourth ball of the final session when the 37-year-old top-edged to Nathan Lyon at mid-off.
But umpire Asad Rauf called the batsman back to check for a front-foot no-ball, and it was there, handing arguably South Africa's most dangerous batsman a second chance.
An authoritative Kallis took it with both hands, reaching his half-century in only 64 balls as he slapped eight boundaries and one six.
Then Siddle gave Amla a lifeline as well, dropping a straightforward catch off his own bowling.
A slower delivery lured the veteran into going early on the drive and while Siddle got his hands on it at a good height, it spilled out.
That was the story of the day for Australia, who battled manfully against a strong South African side without reward on a flat, batsman-friendly wicket in Brisbane.
For all the pre-match talk of a dangerous green deck and the home side's secret plans to rattle South Africa with full-length, aggressive bowling, there was something anti-climactic about the first day.
Australia's three-pronged pace attack got no movement and the Proteas' top-order had no trouble setting up camp in the middle.
Even so, with a bit more luck, Australia could well have had the tourists three down before tea.
Ben Hilfenhaus (0-53) was twice denied by the Decision Review System.
The first call - a leg side ball to Graeme Smith that flicked pad, but not bat - was straightforward, but he was extremely unfortunate not to have removed Alviro Petersen with a wild, in-swinging yorker that caught the opener on the toe.
Rauf was unconvinced but Australian skipper Michael Clarke wasn't, sending the decision upstairs with the team's final DRS opportunity.
A green light came back and Petersen lived to fight another day - but only because Hawk-Eye decided the ball-on-boot impact was made just fractionally outside off, which meant the umpire's original call stood.
Petersen was later dismissed for 67 after a mistimed drive off Nathan Lyon that went straight down Michael Hussey's throat at deep mid-on.
Lyon (1-61) did not shame himself at a ground that history says has been inhospitable to every spinner bar Shane Warne.
Young tyro James Pattinson (1-53) claimed the first wicket of the day, trapping Smith lbw for 10, but had a hard time after that.