Century stand puts South Africa in control

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JOHANNESBURG, Nov 9 (Reuters) Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis shared an unbroken century stand to put South Africa in control of the first test with a lead of 287 runs against New Zealand today.

South Africa reached close of play on the second day on 179-2. Amla, who was dropped on two, was 85 not out with Kallis on 76 in a partnership of 159.

Fast bowler Dale Steyn tilted the match in South Africa's favour when he claimed a career-best five for 34 to help dismiss New Zealand for 118 in their first innings, which they scored in reply to hosts's 226.

Steyn's previous best was 5-47 against New Zealand at Centurion in 2005-06. The 24-year-old told a news conference he had been happy to be able to carry out his captain's orders.

''Every time Graeme (Smith) threw the ball to me and asked me to get a wicket I was able to do so,'' Steyn said. ''It was good to know he had faith in me.'' He added that the South Africans expected the pitch to deteriorate.

''I think it's going to be a bit more difficult as the game goes on. I'm sure it will be more difficult to bat on once those cracks widen, which I'm sure they'll do tomorrow and the next day.'' KALLIS DISMISSALS New Zealand resumed on 41-2, and they were dismissed 21 balls after lunch.

Steyn struck in the fifth over when he bowled nightwatchman Shane Bond for one.

Five overs later, Stephen Fleming pushed at a delivery from paceman Makhaya Ntini and was caught by AB de Villiers at third slip for 40.

New Zealand lost their next three wickets for five runs and all of the dismissals involved Kallis.

Scott Styris (11) played an uncertain drive to a Kallis delivery and was caught by Graeme Smith at first slip.

In the next over Kallis, at second slip, caught Jacob Oram for one off Steyn. Kallis struck again in his next over when he had Ross Taylor caught in the gully by Herschelle Gibbs for 15.

Steyn completed his fourth five-wicket haul when he trapped Brendon McCullum in front for nine before having Chris Martin caught at mid-on by Paul Harris for nought.

South Africa were 20-2 in the eighth over of their second innings after fast bowler Bond had Gibbs caught by Michael Papps at third slip for eight and medium pacer Martin bowled Smith for nine.

Bond would have had two wickets had wicketkeeper McCullum not dropped a catch offered by Amla on two.

Instead, the New Zealanders toiled without reward in the final session as Kallis and Amla built South Africa's lead.

New Zealand coach John Bracewell blamed his side's low total on poor batting technique and said they were shown how to play by Kallis and Amla.

''I don't think we watched the ball particularly well,'' he said.

''We've had a good lesson this afternoon in watching the ball under your chin and playing it from the base of the stumps.'' Reuters YA VP0000

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