England v South Africa, 1st NatWest T20, Chester-le-Street September 8, 2012

Kallis shows who's the daddy

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the first T20 at Chester-le-Street

Guv'nor of the Day
Jade Dernbach, an England bowler whose method relies on infinite variety, treated Jacques Kallis to a slower offcutter. Kallis saw it early, seemed to have an hour to play the shot and struck it imperiously through cover for four. In one ball, Kallis seemed to tell Dernbach that he had seen all his tricks and was even a little bored by them.

12th man of the Day
A close contest, this one. Hashim Amla was rested from South Africa's side and when he came on, polite and bespectacled, he might have been a University professor rather than a great international batsman. Luke Wright, by contrast, ran on with his usual energy for England and looked what he is - an allrounder on the back of a successful T20 season desperate for a game.

Fall guy of the day
It cannot get much worse than this for Ravi Bopara. He looked defeatist, nicked a fast bowler to slip - in this case, not for the first time, Dale Steyn - and departed, hangdog. He deserves sympathy for a time of emotional upheavel but as an England batsman has he ever really been as good as the England management loyally profess?

Question of the Day
The group of fans with "Kevin Who?" signs attached to their shirts were obviously banking on England's batsmen backing up their bravado with a bravura display to provide firm evidence that life was just fine without their superstar-in-exile. They weren't the only ones who were let down.

Disappointment of the Day
No, not England's performance, which barely bordered on competitive, but the size of the crowd. With temporary seating, Durham's ground can hold almost 20,000, but there was no need to throw up extra stands for the first of this three-match series, as around half of the tickets went unsold. Worrying signs for what is supposed to be a cash-cow format.

Tweet of the day
@JohnSunCricket: "Another day, another rubbish cricket match. Surely one of the remaining two T20s will provide some excitement." The Sun's cricket correspondent feels the strain after a long season.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nicholas on September 9, 2012, 16:10 GMT

    Nice one Randy, but at least with England there's that bit of a slope left. With Aus. it looks more like a steep cliff, with nasty jagged rocks at the bottom...

  • KUMARAVEL on September 9, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    Thist was like watching a test match with players in colored clothing. No excitement even from the commentators, spoiled my Saturday night.

  • Randolph on September 9, 2012, 10:07 GMT

    I've seen ice rinks with more friction than the slope England is sliding down.

  • Dummy4 on September 9, 2012, 9:34 GMT

    SA do look good. Amla in for Ontong surely and back up the order will strengthen them further. Only concerns would be Tsotsobe, who has struggled this tour. Given Parnell's improving all-round game I'd be tempted to play him instead. Additionally, given how brilliant Morne Morkel was in the recent IPL, I'd be tempted to have him replace his brother. Still can't believe David Miller didn't even make the squad - I'd have him instead of Farhaan Behardien and keep Du Plessis who's legspin is a nice option. So...for me:- Levi, Kallis, Amla, De Villiers, Du Plessis, Duminy, Botha, Parnell, Peterson, Steyn, M Morkel. Good batting down to 9 and Steyn can larrup the occasional boundary too, with 4 seaming options and 4 spinning options. Miller, Ontong, Tsotsobe and JA Morkel as back-up. Surely the best-balanced team in the world?

  • Nadeem on September 9, 2012, 2:01 GMT

    great play SA keep it up and win this coming WC.

  • des on September 9, 2012, 0:51 GMT

    English journalists tend to find the cricket much more exciting when England are winning. Even if it means Cook and Trott batting for long periods.

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