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ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the first day between Australia and South Africa in Adelaide
Firdose Moonda at Adelaide Oval
November 22, 2012
Wicket of the day
With Australia coasting in the first 10 overs, it needed something unusual to end a threatening-looking opening stand. Jacques Kallis brought that. His perfect yorker was so good it wasn't clear whether it hit Ed Cowan on the toe or if he only managed to send it back to Kallis to catch in his follow through. As he did, Kallis appealed and Billy Bowden gave it out, although there was confusion about the method of dismissal. The stadium announcer initially said lbw but later changed it to caught and bowled. Cricket Tasmania inadvertently may have explained it best when they tweeted that Warner had been "caught lbw".
Celebration of the day
David Warner was under the media microscope coming into this match. He was the player they were calling for to be dropped unless he performed but he silenced them with an aggressive and entertaining knock. His drive to bring up his hundred had barely reached the boundary when Warner stood, arms raised, bat in hand and saluted the members' stand. He did not turn or move in any other direction for a good 30 seconds and he soaked it all in and then gestured to other parts of the ground.
Introduction of the day
Faf du Plessis would probably have preferred his first act in Test cricket to be with the bat but after lunch, as Graeme Smith needed to change Imran Tahir and Morne Morkel's ends he was asked to bowl an over. With South Africa conceding heavily, du Plessis would only have been required to bowl six reasonable deliveries but he started with a shocker. He sent down a high full toss which Warner was only too happy to deposit over square leg. The ball was lost in the construction site and had to be replaced. Welcome to the whites, du Plessis.
Injury of the day
Which one? Vernon Philander woke up with a stiff lower back so Rory Kleinveldt had to play in his place. Jacques Kallis trudged off after three and a half overs with a suspected hamstring problem but the issue that brought the most despondence was the sight of Dale Steyn flexing his left leg midway through his 15th over. Having suffered almost no serious injuries in the past, Steyn is one of the fittest members of the squad and it's unusual to see him give up. But, he did. After stretching a bit, Steyn took his hat back from Bowden, Kleinveldt handed his over and Steyn had to walk off. Hearts sank.
Burst of the day
Although Warner's speedy run-scoring is the most talked-about, Michael Clarke was not far behind. He went from 132 to 152 in the space of an over after hitting Morne Morkel for five fours. Some were carved out, others crisp, all class. It was the exclamation mark on the end of an entirely dominant performance by the Australian captain.
Bullying of the day
Worse than being completely outplayed, South Africa were bullied by the Australian batsmen and the chief tormentors were Clarke and Michael Hussey. Again. In back-to-back deliveries they emphasised how authoritative their display was. Clarke reached his fourth double hundred of the year - the first batsman to achieve that feat - with a nudge behind square and was greeted with a standing ovation. The 16,000 people had barely sat down when they rose again to applaud Hussey's century which came with a slog swept six.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondentFeeds: Firdose Moonda
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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