Johannesburg - Jacques Kallis said poor execution was the cause of the Proteas’ collapse after their strong position at tea on the first-day of the second Test against Australia at the Wanderers on Thursday.
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“We had far too many soft dismissals after we were dominating the game,” said Kallis after the Proteas were bowled out for 266.
“It was just poor execution and something we need to address.”
A fifth-wicket partnership of 122 between AB de Villiers and Ashwell Prince saw South Africa sitting comfortably at 241 for four before the rot set in.
They then lost six wickets for 25 runs and the match swung back into Australia’s favour.
Leg-spin bowler Nathan Lyon started the implosion when he induced Prince to gift a catch to Mitchell Johnson at mid-off, but not before the stylish middle order batsman had scored his 11th half-century.
De Villiers (64) fell six balls later to a brilliant, diving catch by Pat Cummins, after a loose pull-shot off a Peter Siddle delivery.
Lyons then made a lot of ground for his catch to dismiss Mark Boucher (3), who was never in control of his hook shot off Siddle's bowling.
The tail went cheaply and the Proteas were all out just before bad light became an issue.
Earlier in the day, Jacques Kallis became only the fourth batsman to score 12 000 Test runs before his dismissal in the fourth over after lunch.
He had played a superb innings to reach his half-century off 37-balls, hitting seven fours and two sixes.
After achieving his milestone in Test runs, Kallis (54) flicked the next ball off his pads to Usman Khawaja at midwicket giving Siddle his first wicket of the day.
Shortly afterwards, Hashim Amla (19) was on his way back to the pavilion, giving youngster Pat Cummins his well-deserved first wicket in Test cricket.
The 18-year-old debutant found the outside edge of Amla's bat and Ricky Ponting took a head-height catch at second slip.
Australia were a bowler short after Shane Watson suffered a hamstring injury in the morning session but not before seeing to the soft dismissal of Jacques Rudolph (30).
After he had played some magnificent shots, the ball shaved the edge of Rudolph's bat into the gloves of Brad Haddin.
After winning the toss, and electing to bat, Proteas' captain Graeme Smith (11) was the first man out edging Mitchell Johnson to second-slip.
Johnson got the ball to swing away from the left-hander and Smith pushed it to Michael Clarke for a simple catch.
Kallis said there was enough in the wicket to give their bowlers some encouragement with the new ball against Australia on Friday.
“There’s a little bit in that wicket and it’s a little bit two-paced,” he said.
“The odd ball seems to stick a bit so we’ve got to get the ball in the right areas and we’ve got to be patient.”