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Perfect send-off for great Kallis

Ap
Wednesday, January 01, 2014

DURBAN, South Africa - South Africa won retiring allrounder Jacques Kallis' last Test on Monday to take the series against India with a 10-wicket victory on the final day at Kingsmead.

South African openers Alviro Petersen and Graeme Smith comfortably chased down their victory target of 58 soon after tea to claim the short two-game contest between Test cricket's top two teams 1-0.

Smith ended the game by hammering a six and a four off successive deliveries and the South African captain turned and raised his arms to the dressing room where Kallis was sitting.

"I think all of us ... always wanted to win it for him," Smith said.

The 38-year-old Kallis was then carried across the field on the shoulders of teammates holding a South African flag for a lap of honour around the same ground in Durban where he made his debut as a 20-year-old prodigy in 1995.

Smiling, he was handed a beer by a fan — and drank most of it — at one corner of the ground.

Kallis surprised many by announcing on Christmas Day that he would retire following one last Test.

He finished with 13,289 Test runs and 292 wickets in his 18-year career to go down as possibly cricket's greatest ever allrounder.

"That first Test I played here I remember being a nervous little kid," Kallis said.

"To play 166 Test matches, I don't think anyone ever dreams of that. I'm just thankful for every game I've played. I always gave whatever I had."

Kallis also finished with one last hundred.

He made an emotional farewell 115 on Sunday — the 45th century of his Test career to move to third in the all-time run-scorers list.

Top-ranked South Africa powered toward victory over India early on the final day after fast bowler Dale Steyn struck with the first ball of the morning.

The Proteas took eight Indian second-innings wickets for 155 in a session-and-a-half.

Steyn and fellow quick Vernon Philander finished with three wickets each and left-arm spinner Robin Peterson had 4-74 as South Africa seized the win the team badly wanted to mark Kallis' last appearance.

Only Ajinkya Rahane resisted among India's batsmen on the last day to make a gritty 96 before falling four short of a maiden Test century, and he was congratulated for his impressive fighting effort by many of South Africa's fielders, including Kallis.

Rahane also made an unbeaten half-century in the first innings.

"The ingredients are there," captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said of his India team, which came close to winning the first Test in Johannesburg and started strongly in Durban.

"Maybe in this series we didn't cook the food well, but we've got all the ingredients."