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ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the first day of the third Test at Lord's
Firdose Moonda and George Dobell at Lord's
August 16, 2012
Decision of the day
The dismissal of Graeme Smith, caught behind off James Anderson, provided further evidence for the benefits of the Decision Review System (DRS). Umpire Kumar Dharmasena originally adjudged Smith not out, believing he had simply hit the ground in trying to drive, only for England to ask for a review that showed a clear edge. Bearing in mind Smith's record against England - he went into this match averaging almost 60 against them - it was a significant moment and it rewarded England for altering their tactics to Smith. Over the first two Tests, they persisted with a middle stump line that, while it slowed his rate of scoring, did little to stop him grinding out match-defining totals. Here they were rewarded for a more conventional line outside off stump.
Controversy of the day
Jacques Kallis already had reservations about the use of technology in cricket and he may have more concerns about the way umpires use the tools available to them after being given out on review. England appealed for a catch down the leg side, which Kallis appeared to have gloved through to Matt Prior. The replays appeared to show that Kallis took his right hand off the handle of the bat as the ball brushed his glove. It seemed there was not enough evidence to overturn the not-out on-field call but, after numerous replays, Rod Tucker believed there was and sent Kallis on his way. Alviro Petersen was also given out after a catch down the leg-side where the glove may well have lost contact with the bat, although the batsman declined the opportunity to review that decision.
Selection of the day
While England's decision to recall Graeme Swann was no surprise, the selection of Steven Finn was more debatable. Both Tim Bresnan and Graham Onions had strong cases for inclusion and Finn had disappointed at Leeds. But England decided that Finn's extra pace and knowledge of his home-ground would be advantageous. It was a decision that appeared to have been vindicated as Finn claimed three wickets for three runs in seven balls. But with Onions, substituted into the Durham side at Trent Bridge and claiming 9 for 67 (the other wicket was a run out by Onions) and Finn conceding more than four an over throughout the day, the jury remains out.
Record of the day
The wicket of JP Duminy, caught behind off James Anderson, was Matt Prior 175th victim (165 catches and 10 stumpings) as a Test wicketkeeper. That took him above Bob Taylor and up to fourth on the list of most prolific England wicketkeepers. Now only Alan Knott (250), Alec Stewart (227), and Godfrey Evans (219) have more dismissals.
Milestone of the day
When Andrew Strauss led his side on to the pitch he became just the ninth man to represent England in 100 Tests. Among the many tributes paid to England's captain was a presentation made by his teammates of 100 bottles of wine, each bearing a unique label to represent a Test in Strauss's career. Strauss is known to be a wine lover so the players approached Laithwaite's Wine, the official wine partner of the ECB, who then worked with the Professional Cricketer's Association to choose blends he would particularly like. James Anderson, who organised the presentation, paid tribute to his captain: "We wanted as a team to recognise this major landmark in Straussy's career. He is a top player, captain, and team-mate, and we are delighted Laithwaite's could help us mark the occasion with something he'll truly appreciate."
Appearance of the day
The marks on the outfield were not the only memories of the recent visit of the Olympics at Lord's. The MCC invited Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake to ring the bell to signify the start of play and he then visited the South African changing room and had a commentary stint where he revealed his interest in playing T20 cricket, perhaps in the Big Bash. His claim that he was "a better cricketer than I am a runner" certainly raised some eyebrows. Later, in an unlikely scenario, Blake met American rock star Alice Cooper. The pair shook hands in the media box at tea and gave interviews to various broadcasters. Also in the ground was American Beauty director Sam Mendes, who is currently working on the next James Bond film.
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