x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Kallis says England are on top

Jacques Kallis conceded England's bowlers made life difficult for South Africa as the hosts slumped from a position of dominance to end the day on a bad note.

KINGSMEAD // Jacques Kallis conceded England's bowlers made life difficult for South Africa as the hosts slumped from a position of dominance to 175 for five at the close of the first day of the second Test. Kallis hit 75, the same score as his captain Graeme Smith, but the Proteas lost three wickets for 10 runs to turn a promising day into a bad one. "It was a little bit frustrating," said the South African all-rounder. "We'd done really well up until tea and losing those three wickets puts the game in the balance.

"England bowled exceptionally well. Batting in the morning was tough, we'd done so well to get to tea losing only two wickets so it was a little bit frustrating to lose so many wickets late on. They got the ball in the right areas and made it tough to score. We got through that period and did well to get to where we were at tea." Kallis, who admitted he would only bowl at "80 per cent" in the England first-innings following a rib injury, said he expected the wicket to get worse.

"One of the reasons we batted first, is because we expect the pitch to go up and down as the Test match gets on. We need to knuckle down and get as close to 250 as we can." The crucial moment of the day came when Smith was run out by Alastair Cook. And England fast bowler, Graham Onions, who took the late wicket of JP Duminy, was quick to praise the Essex opener and his teammates after a gruelling, humid day.

"That was very good thinking by Alastair," he said. "It all happened so quickly. He could have quite easily thrown at the stumps and missed but you need to think quickly and he's an intelligent lad." @Email:sports@thenational.ae South Africa v England, Day Two, 12.30pm start, Showsports 3