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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