Onions allays fitness fears

England seamer confident of lasting the match at Centurion

Last Updated: 17/12/09 6:58pm

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Graham Onions played down concerns over a calf injury after helping England dismiss South Africa for 418 on the second day at Centurion.

"As a team we've done a lot of hard yards. It's up to the batsmen now and I'm sure they will put on a nice healthy total."
Graham Onions Quotes of the week

The Durham seamer, part of the tourists' four-man attack in the first Test, sustained the problem during the opening day.

But he was able to bowl at full pace on Thursday, finishing with figures of 3-86 as England worked hard to limit their hosts.

England, led by skipper Andrew Strauss' 44 not out, reached the close at 88-1 in reply, 330 behind.

"The body's good, the body's not too bad," Onions told Sky Sports after the close of day two.

"The calf's holding up quite nicely. I had a lot of treatment on it yesterday.

"I actually feel quite good. I'm looking forward to the rest of the Test matches.

Hard work

"Test match cricket is very hard and there's a lot of hard work to be done."

The 27-year-old is now looking forward to the remaining three days, although he accepts it looks to be a good pitch for the batsmen.

He added: "I don't think we bowled badly. With a bit more luck we could nave nipped a couple more out and we could have bowled them out for closer to 350.

"Jacques Kallis played very nicely. As bowlers we stuck to our task, bowled really nicely, kept them to about 2.8 an over.

"Once you get past the new ball that's obviously a very good wicket to bat on.

"As a team we've done a lot of hard yards. It's up to the batsmen now and I'm sure they will put on a nice healthy total."

Kallis, who has been struggling for the last month with a rib injury, also came through his innings of 120 unscathed.

Kallis upbeat

On 112 overnight, the Proteas number four added just eight to his total on the second morning before being caught in the slips off James Anderson.

"No problem so far," Kallis said of his injury. "It would have been nice to have a bowl but I'm still not 100 percent fit so we don't want to push it.

"We'll wait another week and hopefully I'll be ready for the Boxing Day Test."

Kallis claimed his century had not been as effortless as it appeared.

"It was quite tough," he said. "It was one of those wickets where you really had to graft.

"England did bowl well. Only 2.8 (runs an over) in the modern game shows just how tough things were and how well England bowled.

"We put in a lot of practise coming in so I was confident coming in."

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