Australia v South Africa, 1st Test, Brisbane, 4th day November 12, 2012

Cowan's nervous lunch, and Taylor's gaffe

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the fourth day at the Gabba

Silliness of the day
After Graeme Smith himself had already sent down some overs, things got silly when in the 108th over, Hashim Amla was handed the ball. Amla had bowled four overs in the tour match in Sydney and said he had "been in the captain's ear" about bowling more. Now he has had two chances on this tour. He only cost South Africa nine runs but entertained the crowd with his curious action.

Summing up of the day
South Africa did not have much go their way but had themselves to blame for that. When Ed Cowan pulled Rory Kleinveldt mid-way through the afternoon session, they were presented with their best chance to take a wicket but Dale Steyn squandered it. Steyn ran in from fine leg and Jacques Rudolph from deep square leg and a collision was on the cards until Steyn called for it. Rudolph hopped out of the way and Steyn reached forward but the ball slipped through his fingers. Kleinveldt raised both hands to his face and buried it away in disappointment to illustrate the feeling that dominated South Africa's day.

Nervous meal of the day
Cowan started the day one short of his half-century but would have been far more anxious approaching lunch. Searching for his first Test hundred, Cowan began the last over before the break on 98 and did not have the strike. Michael Clarke picked up three from the second ball, leaving Cowan with four deliveries to avoid a nervous lunch. The moment nearly got the better of him when he pushed to point and took off for a run that wasn't there, but both batsmen were able to scramble back safely. After that, Cowan's cool head returned and he played out the over, content to resume on 98 after his sandwiches. It was a wise move; a pull to the boundary from his fifth ball after the break brought up the milestone.

Near run-out of the day
Cowan was lucky to survive on 106 when he pushed to leg and took off for a single, only to be sent back by Clarke. Steyn ran in from mid-on and collected the ball. Cowan was so far down the pitch that Steyn had time to stop, steady himself and aim for the stumps at the striker's end. He missed, and it was another moment that summed up South Africa's day.

Techno-gaffe of the day
If you've ever wondered why Mark Taylor isn't on Twitter, the answer became clear today. Commentating for Channel Nine, Taylor elicited mirth when he asked Brett Lee how much it cost to send a tweet. Taylor's confusion even amused Kevin Pietersen, who tweeted "Tubby Taylor to @BrettLee_58. How much does a tweet cost.. Hahahahahahaaa.. What a beaut!!" Now that he knows it's free, perhaps Taylor will join the digital age.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo; Firdose Moonda is the South Africa correspondent