South Africa's momentum halted by rain in 1st test

Hasim Amla

Hashim Amla's push for a century in a third consecutive test against Australia was put on hold Saturday by rain which washed out play on day two of the series-opening match.

Amla was unbeaten on 90 and Jacques Kallis remained on 84, with South Africa unable to add to its overnight total of 255 for two due to persistent rain in Brisbane.

It was the first full day lost due to rain in a test match at the Gabba ground since Nov. 29, 1983, the last day of the drawn match between Australia and Pakistan.

The South African players left around lunchtime to return to their hotel, while the Australians stayed to sign some autographs before stumps was officially called shortly after 4 p.m. local time. The covers did not come off the wicket square all day.

It was a day for the South Africans to regroup after JP Duminy was ruled out of the series after rupturing his left Achilles tendon in a freak training accident after play on Friday. He had surgery on Saturday and could be sidelined for up to six months. His replacement for the remainder of the series is expected to be announced next week.

"It's disappointing,'' South Africa coach Gary Kirsten told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. "He's been playing some really good cricket batting at No. 7 for us.''

Without a specialist spinner in the starting XI, Duminy was expected to play an important role with his offbreak bowling. Now South Africa not only has no spinner, but it has only 10 batsmen available.

With Amla and Kallis rarely troubled in a 136-run third-wicket partnership on day one of the three-test series, the South Africans will be confident of batting for most of day three. Amla scored centuries in both tests in last year's drawn series against Australia in South Africa and is coming off a prolific series against England.

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