England v South Africa, 2nd Investec Test, Headingley, 3rd day August 4, 2012

KP's record and a tribute to Jimmy

George Dobell and Firdose Moonda at Headingley
ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the third day at Headingley as England fought back

Ominous moment of the Day
Jonathan Trott was on 23 when he played forward to a good length ball from Jacques Kallis only to see it take off and, having hit the edge of his bat, climb far over the slip cordon and down to the third man boundary. It was an alarming moment for Trott but, bearing in mind that it occurred as early as the first session of the third day, also an intriguing moment. It suggested that batting on the fifth day, when the uneven bounce may well have become more apparent, could be extremely problematic.

Drop of the Day
Kevin Pietersen was on 52 when he attempted to work a delivery to from Morne Morkel aimed into his rib cage into the leg side, but instead gave a fiendishly sharp reaction chance to Hashim Amla at short leg. Rarely do such catches stick, but when Pietersen is in this sort of form, such chances can prove crucial.

Dismissal of the Day
There are a couple of choices here. Ian Bell's dismissal was hideous from an England perspective but, because he was well set, Trott's was even uglier. Trott has a well-deserved and hard-earned reputation as one of the hardest men to dismiss in world cricket. He has become England's version of The Wall; perhaps he should be called Hadrian? But here a lack of foot movement and a propensity to fiddle outside off was punished as he guided a catch to first slip. It was the contrast with South Africa's batting that was most stark: while South Africa sold their wickets dearly and, through discipline and application, refused to be drawn into such strokes, Trott allowed himself to be ground down and fell in an uncharacteristically soft manner. Tellingly, he was the eleventh England right-hander to be dismissed by seam bowling in the series, with Hawk-Eye showing that only two of those deliveries would have hit the stumps.

Milestone of the Day
When Pietersen clipped a delivery from Imran Tahir into the legside and ran a single it took him not just to 85 in this innings but to 7,000 Test runs in his 88th Test and his 150th innings. While 15 men have reached the milestone in fewer innings - Wally Hammond leads the way having made it in 131 innings - no-one has done it more quickly in terms of time. It took Pietersen just seven years and 14 days, a statistic that speaks volumes not just for Pietersen's excellence but also for the relentless schedule of which he is so dissatisfied.

Oddly poignant moment of the Day
Now then, now then, now then… Several great Yorkshiremen have been present at this Test, Geoffrey Boycott, Brian Close and Ray Illingworth among them. But it was an idiosyncratic Yorkshireman, who passed away last October, who inspired the oddest moment of the day. Even if it was odd, however, it was strangely pleasing. Sir Jimmy Savile, DJ, TV presenter, wrestler and, most of all, charity worker and fundraiser died last October and was buried in Scarborough with his coffin tilted at 45 degrees so he could continue to admire the sea views. Here he was remembered by a conga line of around 30 lookalikes dressed in red shell-suits and white wigs in front of the Western Terrace at Headingley just after tea that was led by a mankini-wearing Borat figure riding on the shoulders of a smurf. While it may sound bizarre, it was also a strangely fitting tribute to an idiosyncratic but much-loved Yorkshireman.

Warm-up of the Day
Bowlers usually warm-up an over or two before they are asked to come up but Tahir waved his arms about for almost 24 overs before the ball was tossed to him. From the 25th over of the day, when Philander removed Alastair Cook, Tahir started getting ready. He bowled almost two complete mock overs from the square leg position he was fielding in while the quicks went about their work. When that didn't work, he decided to be more obvious and went to ground to do air bicycle exercises and warm up his legs. Still, Graeme Smith was unmoved. It was only at the start of over 49 that Smith introduced Tahir into the attack and for all his waiting, he started with a short and wide delivery that Kevin Pietersen drove off the back foot for four.

Near collision of the Day
If Graeme Smith were to crash into Faf du Plessis, who do you think would come off second best? We almost learned the answer to that when the pair went chasing after the same ball after Pietersen had hoisted Tahir into the leg side. He sliced the gap between the deep midwicket and long-on and sent the two off after it. Smith, who was at long-on, got there milliseconds before Du Plessis, but fell over his own feet and almost tripped his team-mate in the process. Du Plessis had to swerve smartly to avoid falling but stayed on his feet and managed to save the boundary too.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • stuart on August 5, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    Taylor played a good innings and he has all the shots so his character is good. i think he is a real keeper and should stay in the team for a while.

  • Dummy4 on August 4, 2012, 23:51 GMT

    Pietersen played a great innings today and is, obviously, a very good player. But I question the validity of a stat like "fastest to 7000 runs in terms of time". To me that is a manufactured stat like "100 international 100s". It is a product of how much cricket a person plays rather than an exceptional achievement. KP's average is no better (and in many cases, is worse) than other players who have got to 7000 runs indicating that any number of players could hold that dubious honour if they had played as many matches in that time frame. For example, who cares how many days it took Philander to get to 50 wickets, what matters was how many innings. I think of the situation SA found themselves in at the beginning of last summer when they hadn't played a Test match in 11 months or so. That effectively puts any of them out of the running for an "honour" like this through a vaguary of scheduling.

  • Dummy4 on August 4, 2012, 23:28 GMT

    peterson is a great player and he proves it many time england need him in all formate of cricket flower should concider him

  • j on August 4, 2012, 19:19 GMT

    Cook looked in good nick before inexplicably missing a straight one, Taylor played a good knock for a debutant. Imperious class from KP. Funny also to see so many of England's arm-chair critics absent this evening.

  • Nicholas on August 4, 2012, 18:48 GMT

    'Slide of the day': Graeme Smith! Not really known for exerting himself much in the field, a discomforted Smith charged wholeheartedly after a cut-shot from Prior off Tahir in the 101'st over, and converted a certain 4 into a well-saved 3. In doing so, he hurt his knee and left the field with the physio. Poor Smith must be thinking of a certain Homer Simpson quote: "The lesson here is, never try..."

  • Nicholas on August 4, 2012, 18:42 GMT

    'Chewing of the day': Philander! All day, whether bowling or not, every time the camera panned on Philander, he seemed to be chewing away at gum with REALLY exaggerated chews! The grass is certainly looking green... perhaps inspiring ruminant behaviour. He did bowl well though... again.

  • Nicholas on August 4, 2012, 18:37 GMT

    'Batting shot of the day': Trott, after being dismissed! Trott was furious with himself at getting out, and during his march back to the pavilion, spat out his chewing-gum and hit it with his bat while it desended towards the ground. He absolutely middled it! I wonder did it go into the crowd in the stands?

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