KARACHI, Oct 1 (Reuters) Jacques Kallis scored his 25th test century to guide South Africa to a commanding 294 for three after the opening day of the first test against Pakistan at the National Stadium today.
Kallis (118 not out) and Hashim Amla (71) put on 170 for the third wicket to justify captain Graeme Smith's decision to bat first on a slow pitch. Ashwell Prince was also unbeaten at the close, on three.
It was a triumphant return to the team for Kallis, who stepped down as vice-captain in August after being dropped from the Twenty20 World Cup squad.
Seam bowler Mohammad Asif broke the third-wicket stand with the fifth delivery of the second new ball, a leg cutter clipping Amla's off stump to end a dogged innings that contained six fours and one six.
Amla made only 22 runs in 67 balls after tea in contrast to Kallis who took 59 deliveries to sprint from 46 to reach his first century in 10 tests.
''I am very disappointed because I had done all the hard work,'' Amla told reporters. ''It was a good track to bat on today but it will deteriorate later on as the ball is turning and already keeping low.'' SOLID START South Africa had been given a solid start of 87 by Smith (42) and Herschelle Gibbs (54) who took his total of test runs to 5,997.
Smith was trapped leg before by Mohammad Hafeez before lunch while Gibbs was caught at gully by Hafeez slashing at paceman Umar Gul.
Kallis, playing his 108th test, survived dropped chances on 36 and 51 to reach his second hundred against Pakistan. His ton took 147 balls and he struck 12 fours.
Pakistan also dropped Amla on one and missed a good run-out chance when he was on 31.
Kallis was dropped by wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal off leg-spinner Danish Kaneria before Salman Butt floored a straightforward chance off Hafeez.
The South Africa all-rounder made Pakistan pay with several crisp drives and by sweeping the spinners at will.
''We are looking at a total in excess of 500,'' added Amla.
Pakistan picked two specialist spinners, Kaneria and debutant Abdul Rehman, for the first time in a test since 2005 while batsman Mohammad Yousuf was forced out before the start due to a lack of match fitness.
South Africa dropped all-rounder Shaun Pollock for the first time in his 107-test career.
Reuters TB GC1857