x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Onions still chasing victory at Centurion

England bowler Graham Onions says a win in the first Test is still in his teammate's minds, despite trailing South Africa by 330 runs going into day three.

England bowler Graham Onions, who took three for 86 in a tough South African first innings, says victory in the first Test is still in his teammate's minds, despite trailing the hosts by 330 runs going into day three. "There's no reason why we can't bat really well and get ourselves in a strong position - match their total and press on and even win the game," Onions said. "I don't think we bowled badly at all. It's a pretty good wicket to bat on. I think the last two days have been very tough. It's been a great challenge, we know wickets get worse as the Tests go on." Onions saluted the off-spinner Graeme Swann, who took five for 110, as South Africa were bowled out for 423. "Swann was outstanding and deserves all the plaudits," said the Durham paceman. Jacques Kallis, the South African all-rounder recovering from a rib injury, will resist the temptation to bowl in this match, despite criticising his side's weakened attack. Kallis who made a brilliant 120 in his typical stoic fashion, was concerned how easily England raced to 88 for one in the final session to reduce their deficit to 330. "We did well to get to 420 but it was really disappointing the way we bowled in the evening," he said. "We gave away too many freebies and did not get the ball in the right areas. We know the wicket does a bit in the mornings so we need to come out and put that right. On the odd occasion that we did get the ball in the right areas there was still something in the wicket." Kallis said he is feeling no pain but is saving himself for the second Test at Durban over Christmas. "I probably won't bowl as at this stage, it's too much of a risk," he said. "Not bowling is a bit precautionary and a bit of common sense but I should be alright for Boxing Day."

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