Kallis, Cullinan flay West Indies

January 2 1999

CAPE TOWN, Jan 2 (AFP) - Jacques Kallis and Daryll Cullinan hit centuries as South Africa made a commanding start to the fourth Test at Newlands here on Saturday, reaching 282 for two at the end of the first day.

The West Indies claimed a wicket with the first ball of the match when Curtly Ambrose had Gary Kirsten caught down the legside but the rest of the day belonged to South Africa, who won the first three Tests.

After Kallis and Herschelle Gibbs had put on 74, Kallis and Cullinan took command in an unbroken third wicket stand of 208.

Kallis, who had to face the second ball of the day after Kirsten's dismissal, played the anchor role in both partnerships. Cullinan was first to his century, while Kallis had to wait until the third ball of the final over of the day before reaching three figures to the delight of a capacity crowd of 22, 000.

Cullinan unleashed some glorious strokeplay as he reached his sixth Test century off 155 balls, with his second 50 scored off only 57 deliveries. He was unbeaten on 122 at the close.

Kallis needed 278 balls for his third Test 100 and finished the day on 102. Ambrose, who had been a doubtful starter because of fluid on his left knee, became the ninth player in Test history to reach the 350-wicket mark when Kirsten followed a ball delivered down the legside and glanced it into the gloves of wicketkeeper Ridley Jacobs.

On a good batting pitch, Gibbs and Kallis batted solidly to restore the advantage South Africa had gained by winning the toss before Gibbs was caught at short leg off Mervyn Dillon in the last over before lunch. Gibbs made 42.

The batting tempo picked up after lunch with Cullinan in fluent form. After scoring only 97 runs in his previous five innings in the series, Cullinan reached his half-century off 98 deliveries with seven fours. Kallis took 120 balls to reach his fifty, hitting four fours.

Although Ambrose was passed fit, the West Indies' injury problems continued when Ambrose's long-time new ball partner Courtney Walsh (hamstring) and Franklyn Rose (shoulder) were ruled out.

Allrounder Ottis Gibson, 29, was summoned as an emergency replacement. He has been playing for South African provincial side Griqualand West. Gibson played in one previous Test, against England at Lord's in 1995.

Ambrose bowled superbly, especially with the first new ball in a spell of 7-5-5-1, and threatened both Kallis and Cullinan when he took the second new ball in the last 45 minutes of play. The quality of the support bowling was disappointing, however, as the batsmen took control.

The centuries by Kallis and Cullinan were the first by either side in what had been a low-scoring series before Saturday.

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