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Kallis says South Africans in stronger position

Written by: Staff

CENTURION, South Africa, Apr 17 (Reuters) Jacques Kallis believed South Africa held the upper hand in the first test against New Zealand after taking a 229-run lead today.

The hosts recovered from 73-4 to reach the close of the third day on 280 for nine in their second innings.

''I'd rather be in our seat than theirs,'' Kallis told reporters following his knock of 62.

''The wicket is very much up and down and if we get enough balls in the right area we will put them under pressure.

''The new ball becomes a lottery, although it gets a little easier after that.'' South Africa were routed 3-0 at home in the recent test series against Australia and Kallis slammed the pitches the matches have been played on this season.

''The whole summer I've been very disappointed with our wickets, they haven't been conducive to attractive cricket,'' Kallis said.

''They've been hard-grafting wickets and it's something we've got to look at seriously.

''We're getting big crowds in and we want wickets that are going to produce big scores.

''You want a fair contest where the batsmen feel confident about going forward.'' Kallis praised AB de Villiers for the way he crafted his innings of 97. De Villiers smashed 13 fours in his 161-ball knock.

''He played fantastically today,'' Kallis said.

''It was the type of innings where you had to absorb and wait for the ball to get a bit softer, then he kicked on and played aggressively.

''Unfortunately he got out, perhaps that was a little bit of impatience.

''He deserved a hundred, it's a pity he didn't get there.'' REUTERS CH RAI2301

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