Sunday, 3 January 2010

Hungry Kallis gets down and dirty to deny England in Cape Town

JACQUES KALLIS is "hungry" for runs and ready to play "dirty cricket" to dig his nation out of a hole - and that can only mean trouble for England in Cape Town today.

Kallis, who averages 65 on his home ground at Newlands, peaked in the shadow of the magnificent Table Mountain yesterday, scoring an undefeated 108 off 188 balls. He single-handedly denied England the dominance they deserved as day one of the third Test at Newlands ended with South Africa 279-6 and still very much in the game.

After a rain delayed start England, 1-0 up in the four match series, threatened to dominate when they won the toss and elected to bowl - captain Andrew Strauss's seventh success out of nine with the coin. They had the hosts 51-3 and 127-5 but Kallis, in fifty-plus partnerships with AB De Villiers, Mark Boucher and promoted paceman Dale Steyn, led the fightback to frustrate the tourists' pace attack.

Boucher, who put on 89 runs for the sixth wicket with his Capetonian neighbour, said afterwards: "He's hungry. And that's always a dangerous sign for the opposition. Jacques is so calm. His defence is so good.

"He's hungry for runs and he's worked hard on his fitness. Now the hard work is paying off. He is very focused - that's what makes him so good. I always enjoy batting with Jacques.

"We were 50 for three and 120-odd for five and we played some dirty cricket to get back into it.

"Our tail is wagging - and we hope that can continue."

England seamer Jimmy Anderson, who removed Ashwell Prince in the first over of the day, admitted after Kallis's 33rd Test match ton: "He's very focused when he bats and very difficult to bowl at. You've just got to deal with it. You come across these players in Test cricket.

"The lateness that he plays the ball is incredible - and even when the ball is reversing he can pick it, which makes it even harder.

"We bowled reasonably well and I think it's even stevens at this stage. Conditions were in favour of bowling in the morning. Apparently the best time to bat is on days two and three."

Graeme Swann, England's Man of the Match in the first and second Tests, took two quick wickets and nearly turned the game around when he dismissed the initial dangers of AB De Villiers and JP Duminy. But Anderson admitted: "On another day we could have had Kallis in early but it wasn't to be. We'll have the new ball in our hands tomorrow and have to do our best to get him out early."

Anderson backed the decision to bowl first after winning the toss - South Africa captain Graeme Smith has now won just one in 11 heads-or-tails battles - adding: "The conditions this morning were very bowler-friendly. In the warm-up it was swinging a lot - and with rain around as well, it was a very easy choice for us to bowl.

"We're happy with the decision. They've played really well - Kallis played unbelievably well."

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    Must say as a RSA supporter your reporting of the games is a bit anti sa born players in the English team,but never the less they deserve nothing better for eloping.
    Keep up the good work,i enjoy it.