JACQUES KALLIS is "hungry" for runs and ready to play "dirty cricket" to dig his nation out of a hole - and that can only mean trouble for England in Cape Town today.
Kallis, who averages 65 on his home ground at Newlands, peaked in the shadow of the magnificent Table Mountain yesterday, scoring an undefeated 108 off 188 balls. He single-handedly denied England the dominance they deserved as day one of the third Test at Newlands ended with South Africa 279-6 and still very much in the game.
After a rain delayed start England, 1-0 up in the four match series, threatened to dominate when they won the toss and elected to bowl - captain Andrew Strauss's seventh success out of nine with the coin. They had the hosts 51-3 and 127-5 but Kallis, in fifty-plus partnerships with AB De Villiers, Mark Boucher and promoted paceman Dale Steyn, led the fightback to frustrate the tourists' pace attack.
Boucher, who put on 89 runs for the sixth wicket with his Capetonian neighbour, said afterwards: "He's hungry. And that's always a dangerous sign for the opposition. Jacques is so calm. His defence is so good.
"He's hungry for runs and he's worked hard on his fitness. Now the hard work is paying off. He is very focused - that's what makes him so good. I always enjoy batting with Jacques.
"We were 50 for three and 120-odd for five and we played some dirty cricket to get back into it.
"Our tail is wagging - and we hope that can continue."