The weather was decent, the three-sided ground was packed and the batting side massacred the bowling from start to finish. But yesterday's events at Taunton were only marginally fulfilling. A match between a weakened Somerset side and what was very nearly a full strength South African eleven was never likely to be very satisfying, and so it proved. The Proteas scored at will throughout the day and only seemed to be at risk from indecision over whether to hit the ball for four or six or the onset of terminal boredom.
This said, there was plenty to admire. Of course, we had Kallis's unrivalled technical mastery, embellished with some uninhibited flamboyance after reaching his hundred, but I also welcomed the opportunity to watch Hashim Amla bat for the very first time.
Like Kallis he barely looked challenged at any stage, and his combination of functional watchfulness, silky timing and, ultimately, complete domination of the bowling, reminded me strongly of Mohammad Yousuf. The beard is pure coincidence.
In the end only a sharp blow on the elbow from a delivery from Andy Caddick could halt Kallis's progress at 160, while Amla was run out for 172.
As I write, they've declared past 500 and Somerset are 58 for 4. There's only one way the game is going and it doesn't favour the home side.
A strong team is warming up well. England watch out.
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