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THE advantage of having a team capable of batting right down to number 11 was once again highlighted yesterday as South Africa posted an impressive 418 in the first innings of the first Test against England in Centurion.
Resuming with their total on 262, most were looking towards Wednesday's hero Jacques Kallis to carry on from where he left off.
Luckily for England, though, it wasn't to be Kallis's day and he managed to add only eight runs to his overnight score of 112 before falling victim to seamer James Anderson.
Captain Andrew Strauss had to rely on right-arm off-spinner Graeme Swann to tie up one end as he sent down a taxing 45 overs. Swann was the pick of the English bowlers, snapping up the wickets of Ashwell Prince, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Mark Boucher and debutant Friedel de Wet.
Apart from captain Graeme Smith all the South Africans managed to get a start of sorts. Gritty knocks by Duminy (56), Boucher (49), Paul Harris (38) and De Wet (20) all proved to be thorns in the English flesh.
Undoubtedly the highlight of the day, from a South African perspective, belonged to the "Ndingi Express", Makhaya Ntini.
Leading the team onto the field in his 100th Test match, the crowd rose as one to salute a stalwart of this side and honour only the fifth South African to achieve this milestone.
At the close of play England were 88 for 1 after having lost opener Alastair Cook for 15.