sport

Kallis hails dream Test exit

Jacques Kallis admitted scoring a century and sealing a series victory over India was the perfect way to retire from Test cricket.

The 38-year-old all-rounder's first-innings score of 115 helped the Proteas defeat the tourists by ten wickets at Kingsmead in Durban and wrap up a 1-0 win in the two-match series.

It was his last Test appearance after an 18-year career that began on the same ground in 1995 and later saw Kallis become the third-highest Test run-scorer in history.

He bows out with 45 centuries, 13,289 runs, 292 wickets and 200 catches from 166 Test matches.

Kallis said afterwards: "The way the people have come out to support me, the way Cricket South Africa have made it a special game, [the way] my team-mates have made it a special game - I couldn't ask for a better exit.

'Nothing has changed'

"I sat here the day before the game in the changing room and looked out over the field and nothing much has changed in 18 years. I have just got a little bit older. I still had the same butterflies.

"I remember my Dad sitting and watching that first Test match, now I have got my sister up there watching it. It is nice that I could have family watching my first game and last game here in Durban."

Kallis had been given a guard of honour by the Indian team when he walked out to bat on the third day at Kingsmead.

He added: "To MS [Dhoni, the India captain] and the Indian team, thanks very much for that guard of honour - that was really special. I am glad I wasn't facing that next ball - it gave me a few seconds to gather my thoughts. It was certainly an emotional moment."

South Africa captain Graeme Smith paid tribute to Kallis' contribution to South African cricket as both a player and a man.

'Privilege'

He said: "We have enjoyed time in many changing rooms, tough environments around the world, and had many victories for the Proteas, but I think the thing that stands out for me is that he is a really outstanding human being.

"He has been a privilege to get to know as a person and as a friend and I think in the long run, that is what counts."

Dhoni also celebrated Kallis' career after the match, describing South Africa as lucky to have had him.

"He has been a fantastic cricketer, not only as a batsman or as a bowler," he said. "The amount of catches that he has taken and the amount of luxury that he has given to South African cricket - to have a fast-bowling all-rounder who bats as a top-order batsman and at the same time bowls 140kmh.

"Of course, the last few years he has slowed down, but he still bowls over 133kmh. I think it was a real luxury for them to have him in the side."