The Indian Premier League started with a bang once again as defending champions the Mumbai Indians were humbled by a massive 41 runs against a Jacque Kallis-inspired Kolkata Knight Riders.
The South African, now retired from Test cricket, showed that age is no barrier to class as he smashed 72 runs in a match winning innings. Kolkata's second-wicket stand between Kallis and Manish Pandey was the crucial partnership in the match as the pair
added 131 runs, which ensured a final total of 163 which proved too much for Mumbai.
Kallis announced his decision to retire from Test cricket on Christmas Day and ended his Test career in style as he scored a century for South Africa against India on day four of the second Test between the two sides. Kallis' innings of 115 ensured that he moved up to third place in the all-time Test leading run scorers list, just ahead of Rahul Dravid, on 13,289 runs.
Kallis finished his career behind India's Sachin Tendulkar and Australia's Ricky Ponting, which is no mean feat. He ended his career with an average in excess of 55 and has hit 45 Test centuries.
As well as being the third highest Test run scorer of all time Kallis is renowned as a world class all-rounder. In 166 Tests he has taken 292 wickets and made 200 catches - leaving him second to Dravid in the all-time list of most catches made.
He has been ranked as the world's best Test and ODI all-rounder and world's best Test and ODI batsman at times in his career. Kallis still intends to continue his ODI career and will obviously be in huge demand for his T20 skills.
There is plenty of life left in him as he has shown in this most recent innings against Mumbai. His body is clearly not up to the rigours of Test cricket but, with the advent of T20 cricket, he can continue to play and entertain his many followers around the world.
T20 has extended the careers of some great players. If Kallis retains his fitness and determination he could be playing for South Africa in next years World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Kolkata's next game is on Saturday against the Delhi Daredevils where Kallis will hopefully be pitting his skills against Kevin Pietersen in what will be a heavyweight clash.
These games and individual box office clashes are what the IPL is all about and why this tournament is such a pull for a worldwide audience.
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