Australia v South Africa, 2nd Test, Melbourne, 4th day December 29, 2008

Heads and tales

Michael Hussey's gloves were nowhere near the ball when he was hit by a Morne Morkel bouncer. Umpire Aleem Dar thought otherwise. © Getty Images

Hussey's headache
Aleem Dar has had a poor series and he has contributed to the disappointing results for Matthew Hayden and Michael Hussey as well. He gave Hayden caught off his pad in Perth and today Hussey was the victim of a bad decision. Hussey was thumped on the helmet by a Morne Morkel bouncer and the ball lobbed up to Hashim Amla at square leg. Dar gave it out, although Hussey's gloves were nowhere near the ball, and it was the second time this summer Hussey has had to bite his tongue after a poor decision. At the Gabba against New Zealand, Rudi Koertzen adjudged him caught behind for 0 when the ball had clearly come off his pad and his season has been off track ever since.

A very silly point …
Hussey certainly wasn't smiling after his whack on the head but at least Neil McKenzie could laugh about a similarly painful blow. At the start of a Makhaya Ntini over, McKenzie moved in so close on the off side that he was almost on the pitch. Perhaps he was trying to get in the batsman Ricky Ponting's eyeline but doing it without a helmet was more stupid than brave. Lo and behold, it took only one ball for Ponting to launch a full-blooded cover drive that rocketed into McKenzie's midriff. Technically it was a dropped chance but in reality his hands didn't even have time to move. McKenzie smiled, rubbed his chest, and wandered back to a more regulation cover for the next ball. They call it silly point for a reason.

… and a very smart move
That may not have been McKenzie's brightest move but he showed his smarts earlier in the day. McKenzie was chatting to the captain Graeme Smith and pointing towards short cover during an over from Dale Steyn. As a result of the conversation, JP Duminy was shifted to short cover. Two balls later, Hayden drove straight to Duminy. McKenzie might not be making runs but he is at least ensuring the opposition openers are not scoring much either.

One short
Three times Ricky Ponting has scored a century in each innings of a Test. He came agonisingly close to making it four. After he registered 101 in the first innings, Ponting looked almost certain to reach triple figures again in the second. But on 99 he became the second man to be snared at short cover in the innings, when he drove Morne Morkel to Graeme Smith. Ponting became only the second player - Geoffrey Boycott is the other - to score 99 and a century in the same Test. After stumps Ponting had had a chance to think about how close he had come: "I'm actually going to check with the scorers tonight and see if I can take one run from the first innings and transfer it over to the second innings, see if that's possible."

An all-round champion
Jacques Kallis will soon become the eighth man to score 10,000 Test runs - he is only 53 short - and he will be the only one of the group with 100 Test wickets to his name as well. In fact, Kallis has been such an enduring allrounder that he now has 250 Test victims. He brought up the milestone with the last ball before tea, when he bowled Brett Lee.

Comeback of the day
Lee is expected to miss the third Test in Sydney with a foot injury that is almost a stress fracture, but it couldn't stop him doing his part in South Africa's second innings. Lee, who was off the field for the entire third day because of the problem, ran in to bowl the first over of South Africa's chase. He slammed his left foot down, each time risking a small crack in the bone becoming a full stress fracture. It might be his last chance for the next six weeks to prove he is still a force in international cricket. The left foot caused him more problems when he overstepped with a delivery that bowled Neil McKenzie.

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo