England v South Africa, 5th NatWest ODI, Trent Bridge September 5, 2012

First-drop flop and the captain's choice

Plays of the Day from the fifth one-day international between England and South Africa at Trent Bridge

Duck of the Day
It was always going to be a tall order for Ravi Bopara to go in at No. 3 given his current batting issues. There was a sense of inevitability about how it would end and his second-ball edge against Dale Steyn was much like his dismissals at The Oval and Lord's. Having looked as though it could be a breakthrough season for Bopara, he is now probably looking forward to it ending after finishing the series with an average of 5.50.

Bowling change of the Day
AB de Villiers was proactive throughout England's innings, with regular bowling changes, and he could not have been happier with how his introduction of JP Duminy for the 20th over worked out. Eoin Morgan has taken apart part-time spin for fun during his career but this time looking to stamp his authority on the bowler he tried to go over mid-on and could not clear the fielder. Morgan is England's game-changer with the bat and it was a crucial moment.

Gift of the Day
Morgan was not the only batsman to hand his wicket to South Africa. However, to fall to a gentle legspinner, sending down his first over, when the batsman has worked hard for a fifty is pretty hard to swallow. Alastair Cook was anchoring England's innings - and, after losing Morgan, had to bat through - only to push a low full toss straight back to Faf du Plessis. It was an ugly way for Cook to sign off his international batting for the season.

Feet issue of the Day
Wayne Parnell has bowled consistently during this series having, as he put it, worked on the "mental" aspect to his game more than the technical. Here, though, he had a few problems, particularly during one over where he overstepped with consecutive deliveries. However, Samit Patel could not take advantage of either free-hit as Parnell firstly got away with a low full toss then produced a full delivery that Patel could only drive to cover.

Juggle of the Day
England's catching has not been good this season so whenever an edge flies into the slips it is a heart-in-mouth moment for home supporters. James Tredwell shelled two at Lord's on Sunday and his catch to remove Graeme Smith, when he flashed at Jade Dernbach, did not go cleanly into the hands. All that mattered, though, was it stayed in them.

Drives of the day
De Villiers has not had the most productive tour with the bat - perhaps because of his increased workload in the Tests - but remains one of the most attractive strokemakers in the world. With his team in trouble at 14 for 3, and following his call for the senior batsmen to respond, he unfurled a string of crisp drives against England's quicks to settle South Africa's nerves.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on September 6, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    Bopara should be permanently replaced by Bairstow ... England missed Graeme Swann in this game although they had already assured that they were not going to lose the series ...

  • Nicholas on September 6, 2012, 8:11 GMT

    @Randy: Bopara averaged 45 in the recent NatWest series against Aus. and took 4 wickets too.

  • Dummy4 on September 6, 2012, 7:45 GMT

    Bairstow should have been given a chance instead of Bopara. England must find alternative for Sumit Patel bowling averaging more than 40 in around 30 matches of his career.

  • Randolph on September 6, 2012, 3:21 GMT

    The fact that Bopara can make the side is a true indicator of England's shallow talent pool.

  • Kay on September 6, 2012, 2:04 GMT

    Bopara is a mediocre player at best who'd be very lucky to be in the playing eleven for most other teams in the world.

  • michael on September 6, 2012, 2:02 GMT

    All in all a summer to forget for England. Time to draw a line under 2012 and move on with a new captain and a firm game plan to take on India. A win over there in the test series would right many of the wrongs of this year. I believe we have the talent to rise back to the top, we just need to get that self belief back we had in Australia last year.

  • Ed on September 6, 2012, 0:12 GMT

    Patel and Bopara look SO out of place in the ENG side. Patel is unfit, goes for too many runs and is a terrible fielder, Bopara simply can't bat. There HAS to be better players around that deserve a shot.

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