England v SA, 3rd Investec Test, Lord's, 2nd day August 17, 2012

Cook's waft and Prior's dive

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the second day of the third Test at Lord's

Poor shot of the day
Most wickets tend to be due to a combination of batsman error and decent bowling, so perhaps it is unfair to pick on one player for their mistake. But the shot that brought Alastair Cook's dismissal was awful. Reaching a long way from his body to attempt to drive a wide delivery from Dale Steyn, Cook was never in any position to play the stroke and could only edge the ball to Jacques Kallis, who clung on to a sharp chance at second slip. It was an oddly out of character stroke from Cook who has a hard-earned reputation for leaving the ball well and selling his wicket dearly.

Catch of the day
Matt Prior claimed six dismissals during South Africa's first innings, five catches and a stumping, but none were more impressive than the effort to dismiss Morne Morkel. Flinging himself to his left, Prior pulled off an excellent low catch that would not have carried to first slip. It was another reminder of Prior's vast improvement as a wicketkeeper since he first came into the England side in 2007.

Review of the day
Graeme Smith made an excellent decision to utilise the DRS after Jonathan Trott was adjudged not out by umpire Kumar Dharmasena following an lbw appeal against Steyn. While AB de Villiers was far from convinced and Smith took 20 seconds before calling for the review, his judgement was vindicated when replays and ball tracking technology combined to prompt another over rule of a decision by Dharmasena.

Milestone of the day
Vernon Philander leaned onto his back foot to hook Stuart Broad to fine leg with all the confidence and time of a top-order batsman. It was the shot that took him to his first Test half-century and told a wider story of an innings built from the uncertain foundations of a South African line-up, which turned it into a much more solid structure. Philander of the South African domestic circuit is known as bowling allrounder. With a highest first-class score of 168, he was always expected to perform with some aptitude at No.8 but his previous best in a young Test career was 29. This time, it was different for Philander. He showed tenacity and skill to dig South Africa out of a hole.

Bird of the day
There were no ducks today but there was another kind of bird causing confusion on the outfield. An interested pigeon walked towards the slip cordon but Smith did not feel the need for an extra catcher and shoed it away. It only went about a yard, however, and seemed keen to return in time for the next ball so AB de Villiers was tasked with getting rid of it. After the ball had been played into the covers, de Villiers chased the bird only for Hashim Amla to shy at the stumps and, with no de Villiers in place, allow Ian Bell and Jonny Bairstow to steal a single.

Shining moment of the day
To celebrate the fact that one-and-a-half million children have now benefited from Chance to Shine - the campaign to educate children in state schools through cricket - the charity were out in force at Lord's promoting their work and raising funds. In 2012 around 350,000 boys and girls will play competitive cricket as a result of Chance to Shine, with the charity on course to reach its initial target of two million children in a third of state schools by 2015. The donations received at Lord's will go some way to covering the £5m annual cost of the programme.

Quote of the day
While the incident, strictly speaking, belonged to the first day of this game, it bears re-telling. Alice Cooper may have sold tens of millions of records, but his fame has clearly left Geoffrey Boycott untouched. Introduced to the rock star, Boycott, presuming - not unreasonably - that anyone called Alice might be a woman, shook the hand of Cooper's wife and said it was nice to meet her.

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  • John on August 18, 2012, 10:25 GMT

    @Landl - Both were as important as each other. SA added 146 while VP was add the crease. Eng so far have added 160 since JB has been there. So Eng so far have added slightly more while JB has been add the crease but also JB is a number 6 and a batsman whereas Vernon is a number 8 and a bowler. Also , so far Jonny has played with Bell and Prior (2 batsmen) whereas 64 of the runs which SA made when VP was there was when he had the bowlers with him.

  • Ian on August 18, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    I thought Alice Cooper was female too, but then I'm not really up to date with music either. Thank you, Boycs, for making me feel better!

  • Geoffrey on August 18, 2012, 5:38 GMT

    Cook hasn't wafted like that for a long time. I think this series has affected his confidence. But then again, he is playing against a much better side than Australia so you can't expect to dominate a test series like that regularly. Next ashes he can regain his confidence against another bog average attack. Strauss got a beauty that would have got anyone out, Trott fell over trying to play through the leg side. Overall the English batsman got themselves out.

  • John on August 18, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    Bairstow's half-century was more important than Philander's, surely? Calling a half-century by a bowler a milestone and leaving out the half-century by a 22-year old batsman is like praising KP's bowling in the second test and ignoring his 149. Philander's never going to make a test side as a batsman (nor KP as a bowler) so the real milestone was Bairstow's.

  • John on August 18, 2012, 0:17 GMT

    @BennieLovesCricket on (August 17 2012, 18:37 PM GMT), Trott was obviously out so I don't hold it against them too much but this is not the first time that a fielding side has taken more than the allotted time to take a review. If the rule is 15 seconds then I really think that they need to start enforcing it. There has to be a line drawn somewhere and if you allow the umpires themselves to arbitrarily draw it then you end up with inconsistency. One team may be denied a review because they took too long where another team were allowed one within the same time. Not there aren't other inconsistencies with DRS, but that doesn't mean that this one shouldn't be eradicated, which would be very easy.

  • John on August 17, 2012, 21:12 GMT

    Thought Cook looked particularly poor today. He had a waft at one before he got out. Very disappointing

  • John on August 17, 2012, 21:11 GMT

    @ BennieLovesCricket on (August 17 2012, 18:37 PM GMT) - Surprised no one else picked up on that. Oh wait a minute , it wasn't something which helped England so we won't be inundated by anti comms here

  • Nicholas on August 17, 2012, 19:16 GMT

    What is it with England captains looking so inept sometimes with the slope at Lords? Michael Vaughan was flummoxed against McGrath in the 2005 Ashes, and today Strauss was undone by a beauty from Morkel.

  • Nicholas on August 17, 2012, 18:53 GMT

    'Relief of the day for SA': SA first innings, over 89; Steyn was hit hard on the glove by Anderson. Ouch! However, alas for England and joy for SA: it was only his left (non-bowling) hand...

  • Paul on August 17, 2012, 18:37 GMT

    Smith took 20 seconds for the review? Thought they were only allowed 15! More DRS controversy!

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