x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Proteas wrest back initiative

Jacques Kallis, the South African all-rounder, claimed his side's bowling pressure paid dividends to put the hosts in pole position against England.

Alastair Cook sweeps on his way to 65 yesterday.
Alastair Cook sweeps on his way to 65 yesterday.

Jacques Kallis, the South African all-rounder, claimed his side's bowling pressure paid dividends to put the hosts in pole position on another spectacular day of Test cricket. South Africa bowled a tight line and length but Andrew Strauss, Kevin Pietersen, Alastair Cook and Ian Bell can all feel disappointed with the way they departed.

"Sometimes when you keep the other side under pressure and stop them scoring when the bad balls come, they try and hit them too hard," said Kallis, who got the crucial wicket of Bell for 48 when the England man was caught by JP Duminy in the gully. "We created a lot of pressure throughout and caused a couple of wickets to go down which were not the best balls in the world." South Africa lost their remaining four wickets for just 12 runs in the space of just 17 balls early in the morning, with Kallis failing to add to his overnight 108.

"History tells you in the morning it's tough to bat at Newlands," conceded Kallis. "If we can knock over the tail quickly the new ball will be crucial. "We are probably ahead in the game. If we can knock over England's tail with the new ball we will feel we are definitely on top. The guys are very upbeat in the changing room. "There's no doubt someone will win. It's a different wicket to usual at Newlands and perhaps a bit uneven."

Cook, who was out for 65, tamely pulling Morne Morkel to Ashwell Prince at midwicket, admitted: "It's very frustrating after doing all the hard work. "It's one of my shots I play but I didn't execute it very well with lack of pace doing for me. "It's very disappointing but you'd take 60-odd rather than nought. "There's a bit of frustration with the nature of the dismissals but you have to give South Africa credit for the way they bowled.

"They did not bowl many bad bowls at all and kept us under constant pressure. They kept the run-rate down and when you're not scoring the pressure sometimes builds." Cook suggested that England are still optimistic about their chances. "We can get close to them in the morning which is crucial as every morning seems to be and then hope we can bowl as we have been," he added. "It's a great wicket and gives a bit for everyone but if you do bowl badly you can get punished."

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