Zaheer strikes the early blow
Zaheer Khan struck the early blow for India and South Africa got off to a disastrous start on Day 1 of the first Test at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur.
The left-armer, first picked up Ashwell Prince with a bouncer and then sent South African skipper back to the pavilion with a peach of a delivery, which went in between his bat and pads.
Prince was out to a snorter, which the batsman awkwardly fended at it and the ball struck the arm guard and ballooned to wicket keeper Dhoni.
The umpire raised his finger as he walked away towards square leg much to the delight of the home team. TV replays suggested the ball might have gone off the arm guard.
Earlier, India went into the game with two debutants in S Badrinath and Wriddhiman Saha after last-minute injury setbacks to Rohit Sharma, who was incidentally a cover for VVS Laxman.
Image: Zaheer Khan celebrates the wicket of Graeme Smith
Kallis-Amla steadies SA innings
With South Africa reeling at 6-2, Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla played sensible cricket to steady the innings.
The duo put up an unbeaten 285-run stand, which ensured that South Africa reach at a comfortable 291 for the loss of two wickets, when the stumps were drawn on Day One.
The duo's 512-ball stand also bettered the previous best between the two countries of 268 for the second wicket by Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid.
Indian bowling too looked off colour apart from Zaheer Khan, who picked the two wickets early one. Harbhajan was monotonous with his pre-dominant over-the-wicket line, while leg spinner Mishra bowled too many loose balls which were punished by Kallis in particular.
Image: Hasim Amla and Jacques Kallis
Kallis cracks 34th century
Kallis soon notched up his 34th Test century, third against India. A determined Kallis, who faced 290 balls and struck 13 fours and two sixes in his marathon effort.
Kallis, playing in his 136th Test and 12th against the home team, was the more aggressive during the stand in which the 26-year-old Amla, who cracked his second ton against India, eschewed risk totally till he reached his 30s.
Kallis in the process equalled the tallies of legends Sunil Gavaskar and Brian Lara with his 34th hundred.
Image: Jacques Kallis celebrates after reaching his century
Amla shines with the bat
Hashim Amla joined Kallis in the run-fest and cracked his second century against India as he made full use of the reprieve of India's poor fielding.
Amla got lucky twice when he was let off by Murali Vijay at slip off Zaheer's first over post-tea and then dropped by Badrinath at short mid-on off Ishant Sharma.
The batsman was on 61 and 82 when he got those reprieves.
Amla is unbeaten on 115 along with Kallis who is not out on 159.
Image: Hashim Amla raises the bat after completing his century