Australia v South Africa, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 4th day November 25, 2012

Birthday boy dismisses birthday boy

Plays of the Day for the fourth day of the second Test between Australia and South Africa in Adelaide

Cheer of the day
An uninitiated visitor to Adelaide Oval might have wondered why Imran Tahir seemed so popular when he was announced as appearing at the bowling crease. The reasons were more ironic than admiring, for after three days of watching Tahir being taken apart by Australia's batsmen, the crowd looked forward to his spells with enthusiasm that bordered on Schadenfreude. By the end of the innings Tahir's figures of 0 for 260 from 37 overs had taken an ignominious place in history, as the most expensive in Tests without a wicket. In other words, they were the worst.

Brave act of the day
For the second consecutive day, the crowds pondered the sight of an injured batsman walking to the wicket. James Pattinson's rib and side injury was so painful that after suffering it on day three he told Ricky Ponting he was struggling to breathe. Helped since then by the team physio Alex Kountouris but weighed down by the knowledge that his Test summer was over, Pattinson played with typical directness and considerable skill to make an unbeaten 29 before Michael Clarke declared. Pattinson boasts a batting average of 38.20 after seven Tests

Birthday of the day
In 2010, Peter Siddle had celebrated his November 25 birthday by claiming a raucous hat-trick on the first afternoon of that summer's Ashes series. This time around he found himself charging in at Alviro Petersen, another man to share the same birthday. In keeping with a dire day for South Africa and a dominant one for Australia, it was Siddle who had richer cause to enjoy the day, and he provided a moment of significance for trivia buffs as well as team-mates when he burst through Petersen's defence to dismiss him for 24.

Bunny of the day
Jacques Rudolph's torturous stay at the batting crease was once again ended by Nathan Lyon; Ed Cowan's sharp take at short leg making it four innings out of four in which the batsman had perished to the offspinner. Much was made of Daryl Cullinan's "bunny" status when Shane Warne bewildered him with the flipper three times in four innings during the summer of 1993-94, but Lyon's dominance of Rudolph has been arguably more complete than even that. Rudolph stood motionless at the crease after the dismissal, waiting for a replay to confirm a clean catch; it seemed as much out of shock than any genuine query about the validity of his exit.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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  • Adrian on November 25, 2012, 23:49 GMT

    South Africa only had to score at 3 runs per over to win the match. Instead they are going for a draw by scoring at just over 1 run per over. To catch up, they will need to score at a little over 4 runs per over for the final day. Quite achievable, though, given that Australia scored at over 5 runs per over on the first day. But it seems unlikely that they will, given that they are 4 down and with an injury to Kallis (though he can bat). Most likely Australia will romp this in sometime between lunch and tea and win by 200+ runs.

  • Justin on November 25, 2012, 15:48 GMT

    I also think there's too many loopholes for free reviews. There was one recently I believe where it was sent upstairs to review a clean catch and it turned out a no ball and was given not out.. Given just how many wickets are taken with no balls and no doubt many are missed.... Maybe all batsmen should just stand their ground shaking their heads and hope it's sent upstairs. If the ump gives it out... Its need to use a review or keep walking.

  • John on November 25, 2012, 10:23 GMT

    How is it that showing dissent with the umpire's ruling gets your team a "free" review (that you don't lose when it fails)?

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