Australia v South Africa, 3rd Test, Perth, 1st day November 30, 2012

Punter's final team-mate

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the opening day of the deciding Test in Perth

Throw of the day
Hashim Amla was run out by Ashwell Prince during the last Test South Africa played in 2011 and he was again caught short during their final Test of 2012. Then he was 51 with South Africa chasing an improbable 450 against Sri Lanka in Durban when he called for a run and Prince refused to respond, leaving him stranded. This time he was on 11 when AB de Villiers tried the quick tap and run. Amla was fast to respond but so was David Warner, whose throw from point was accurate enough to result in a direct hit. Australia immediately knew they had their man and replays showed Amla was short of his ground by an inch.

Hand-wringing of the day
Mitchell Johnson usually has Graeme Smith clutching his hand in pain but he did not hurt the South African captain today. Instead, he struck Vernon Philander later on. With an over to go before tea, Johnson wanted to do as much damage as he could and got one to rear up from back of a length. Philander expected it to be a little shorter and found himself in an awkwardly defensive position and his glove in direct contact with the ball. He immediately pulled the bottom hand away but the sting was obvious as he grimaced for a few seconds afterwards.

Presentation of the day
John Hastings became the 430th Test cricketer to represent Australia and was given his baggy green cap by Adam Gilchrist in a presentation before play. Hastings also became Ricky Ponting's 82nd Test team-mate, a remarkable figure that means nearly 20% of the men who have played Test cricket for Australia over the past 135 years have walked out onto the field with Ponting.

Reflection of the day
As Ponting was practising his slips catches on the field, preparing for his final Test, it was notable that the man hitting the ball to him was Stuart Law, Australia's acting batting coach. Law and Ponting made their Test debuts together at the WACA 17 years ago and both men scored half-centuries. In fact, they put on 121 together for the fifth wicket against Sri Lanka, a partnership that ended when Ponting was wrongly given lbw for 96. Law finished on 54 not out. He did not play another Test. Ponting is now taking part in his 168th. On the first morning of this match, Law could have been forgiven for wondering what might have been.

Drop of the day
Hastings was still searching for his maiden Test wicket in the first over after lunch when he drew a false stroke from Amla, who chipped the ball to midwicket. It looked like a regulation catch, and so it should have been, but Ed Cowan somehow let the ball slip through his fingers. A disappointed Hastings could do nothing but walk back to his mark and try again. Fortunately for Hastings he didn't have to wait long - an edge to slip in his next over had AB de Villiers snapped up by Michael Clarke.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Harmon on December 3, 2012, 6:03 GMT

    O thanks Kevin and SK5983 for the correction folks. By the time I had finished typing the comment I did recall it was Bevan and Law. Taylor was bowled by Bishop, Waugh lbw by Ambrose. I did not exactly remember Ponting's dismissal. But barring that I remember just about everything. The way Lara was playing and then got a top ball from Waugh and his reaction after it, the way Chanderpaul got out, the shot of Richie hit the leg umpire and prevented a certain 4 (WI lost by 5), the appeal Healy made to dismiss Gibson and Greig's comment after it, the catch Warne took to get Harper and above all the poor shot Walsh played to get out instead of taking a single and Richie in his last knock 49*. But by the end of my comment I did not want to disturb it all over again :-p Doesn't matter if he got a duck then, he got 140* in 2003 and won it. Cheerz...

  • Sachin on December 1, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    @Harmony111, sorry it was not Ponting-Law partnership, but it was Bewan-Law patnership and Shane warne took 4 wickets in this match, if i remember.

  • Sasanke on December 1, 2012, 4:03 GMT

    Can somebody find how many test team mates Arjuna Ranatunga had and how many test cricketers Sri Lanka had produced by the time he retired.. My guess Arjuna would have played with more than 85% of the Sri Lankan test cricketers by then...

  • Dummy4 on December 1, 2012, 0:11 GMT

    @Harmony111 Small Correction - I was not Law and Ponting who had a partnership, it was Law and Bevan who built the for Australia. Ponting was out for 0

  • Clinton on November 30, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    @peter.suen I don"t think SA is playing a Boxing Day Test this year - I think they're playing a T20 on Boxing Day.Wow 82 players played Test cricket with Ponting! Given the fact that Tendulkar played 7 years longer than Punter & the Ozzy team selection was more consistent than the other teams, can somebody tell me: how many test teammates have Sachin had?????

  • Harmon on November 30, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    Wow, I remember very well the Ponting of 95-96. He used to have a tiny beard, kind of a goatie in those days. IIRC, Stuart Law too used to have a similar look. Aus were in all sort of troubles in the WC SF 1996 in Mohali vs WI and it was these two who built a partnership for Oz. In those days, I used to think of Law as a better looking batsman as he seemed to be more graceful than Ricky. I did not know Law did not play another test, I would have reckoned around 25 tests for him. Ricky's stock really zoomed around 2002. After that, he was as good as anyone else in the history for about 4 -5 years. The contrast between Ricky and Law's record and fortunes is stark. Also shows that when one puts his mind to work, he can become as good as Bradman. Ricky was an alcoholic in the mid 90s and after a brawl he admitted his fault and decided to focus on his game more --- look what he has achieved. I admire Ricky for this reason. A man with many faults but with a fab focus.

  • Dummy4 on November 30, 2012, 11:56 GMT

    What about lyon getting an standing ovation...that was the funniest thing i have ever seen

  • Peter on November 30, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    Well it is not the last test for SA. They have their boxing day test against NZ

  • Lee on November 30, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    I see Ed Cowan has had another superb day at the office. Dropped a sitter and then as if to ram home his total control of the situation, registered a golden duck with the bat. Epic stuff, way to go man.

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