Proteas forge ahead

Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis’ centuries pushed South Africa to an imposing 357.

Proteas player Hashim Amla. Picture: AFP

BRISBANE - Hashim Amla scored a third century in his last four tests and Jacques Kallis the 44th of his career as South Africa pushed on to an imposing 357 for three at lunch on the third day of the first test against Australia on Sunday.

Amla, the top ranked batsman in world cricket, departed soon after reaching his milestone as the result of a harsh-looking lbw decision but Kallis batted on to reach 137 at the break with AB de Villiers alongside him on 32 not out.

The tourists resumed on 255 for two after the second day had been washed away by the Brisbane rain and although Australia's pace attack bowled better than they had on day one, Amla soon had the 10 runs he needed for his 17th test hundred.

The 29-year-old cut James Pattinson for the seventh four of his innings to reach the mark, continuing the purple patch that included a century against England at Lord's and an unbeaten 311 at the Oval.

Amla had added just one more run to his tally when a Peter Siddle ball caught him high on the pad and umpire Asad Rauf sent him back to the pavilion with 104 runs to his name.

TV replays confirmed the ball would have gone over the stumps but Amla decided not to appeal after consulting Kallis and their 165-run partnership was over.

There was now a stiff breeze blowing over the Gabba but in the next over, the evergreen Kallis smacked two runs through midwicket to bring up his hundred in 169 deliveries with nine fours and a single six.

Kallis soon brought up the 300 for his country with a slashed four over point and he and De Villiers, who had opened his account with an authoritative four on the first ball he faced, put together a 50 partnership in just 99 balls.

The ground paused for two minutes' silence in memory of the dead of the two World Wars but it was business as usual after the resumption and the biggest cheer of the last hour came when David Warner athletically saved a four on the boundary.