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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 December, 2004, 16:19 GMT
Trescothick salutes star partner
Andrew Strauss and Marcus Trescothick

Marcus Trescothick toasted his partnership with Andrew Strauss after the opening pair had given England the edge against South Africa in Durban.

Their 273-run stand for the first wicket turned a 163-run deficit at the start of day three into an 88-run lead.

"We work well together, feed off each other and enjoy each other's company. Strauss is playing fantastically.

"When you take part in a stand like that it's fantastic," said Trescothick, who like the unbeaten Strauss made 132.

"When you're playing with someone who is in such good form as he is, it makes my job a lot easier.

"He's scoring so quickly, quicker than I've ever seen him score.

"When you get a 270-run partnership you know it's your day and you know you've done well."

The partnership - a record for Kingsmead and England's fifth best of all time for the first wicket - ended when Trescothick fell to Shaun Pollock late in the day.

There's no such thing as a flat pitch. It's all a matter of perception, of getting out what you put in
SA coach Ray Jennings

But by then the pair had already succeeded in putting England in the driving seat.

"We had to really fight back hard. The first two days were pretty hard work," Trescothick added.

"We dug in and fought hard and it was just unfortunate to lose myself at the end of the day.

"We just wanted to bat out the day and lose as few wickets as possible.

"Runs had been at a premium and the run-rates were pretty slow, but the wicket has got better so you could score a bit quicker.

"And partnerships make a huge difference where the scoring rate is concerned."

Trescothick was delighted to score his third Test century away from home - his previous two coming in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Before this Test, the left-hander averaged only 30.4 away, and he has been keen to narrow the gap with his home average of 53.9.

"I wouldn't say I've put it to rest, but I've made a big step forward to putting it to rest," he commented.

"It's a mental battle for me, something I have to deal with and work hard to try to understand what is different."

South Africa coach Ray Jennings said his bowlers had not put the required effort in.

"There's no such thing as a flat pitch. It's all a matter of perception, of getting out what you put in," he sniped.

"I would be happier had we bowled at the start of the innings the same way as we bowled in the last few overs.

"Our best chance of dismissing batsmen is in the first 20-30 balls and maybe we'll get a bit of luck tomorrow."


WATCH AND LISTEN
Report: BBC Five Live's Jonathan Agnew


Interview: England opener Marcus Trescothick



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