Jacques Kallis and Ashwell Prince completed half-centuries in an unbroken 144-run partnership to lead a brave South African fightback on the opening day of the third and final Test against Australia on Monday.

Kallis scored an unbeaten 80 while Prince made 62 not out to help the Proteas recover from a shaky start and reach stumps on 230 for three at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The pair defied the Australian bowlers for more than three hours to vindicate Graeme Smith’s decision to bat first on a lively pitch that initially suited the seamers but flattened out later in the day.

The entire morning session was washed out because of rain and Smith’s decision to pad up first on a grassy wicket looked to have backfired when the tourists lost three wickets between lunch and tea.

Fast bowler Brett Lee made an early breakthrough when he dismissed AB de Villiers for two in the sixth over of the day then Glenn McGrath removed Herschelle Gibbs for 27.

Lee added the scalp of Smith for 39 to reduce the Proteas to 86-3. Smith has been unable to correct his technical deficiency of playing too far across. He was again out Leg Before Wicket.

Kallis and Prince then launched their recovery partnership, batting through the extended final session without any further losses.

Kallis, Prince lead Proteas fightback



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