New Zealand v South Africa, 1st Test, Dunedin, 4th day March 10, 2012

A strategic break and a mistaken identity

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the fourth day of the first Test between New Zealand and South Africa, in Dunedin

Strategic change of gloves
Forty minutes after lunch, South Africa showed the first signs of intent to increase the scoring-rate in their innings and push for an early declaration. Jacques Rudolph asked for a change of inner gloves but it seemed like he received a quick message from twelfth man Marchant de Lange too. Rudolph clubbed the first ball of the next over, a short and wide gift from Tim Southee, through point. He went on to score boundaries off each of the next four overs, reaching a century and allowing South Africa to declare 16 overs after lunch.

'Who's that?' moment of the day
South African fans have already been annoyed about the broadcast of the first Test in Dunedin because they have found the almost all-New Zealand commentary team to be biased towards the home side. Now, they face further agitation. Barry Richards, the only South African commentator on tour, was on air when a shot of the South Africa team-manager Mohammed Moosajee was shown. He did not recognise Moosajee and called him an anti-corruption officer, causing a fresh fracas to erupt on social networks and within CSA's management, which has taken the matter up with the broadcasters.

Baptism of fire
New Zealand's batsmen would have been ready for some hostile bowling in the fourth innings, and it was Test debutant Rob Nicol that took most of the early blows. He was hit on the thigh by Vernon Philander, on the shoulder by a Morne Morkel short ball that did not bounce as much as expected, and suffered his most painful blow when Morkel caught him on the gloves, with another short ball. At first, Nicol tried to just shake off the pain with a disinterested look on his face but by the end of the over he needed help, and a member of the medical staff had to bring out the magic spray.

Gift of the day
After having hung in there through the body blows, being beaten umpteen times and short balls, Nicol ended up throwing his wicket away to an innocuous delivery. The first ball of Imran Tahir's second over was a full-toss that he should have smacked over the covers. Instead, he spooned a lollipop shot to Graeme Smith at mid-off and was dismissed. It was a tame end not befitting the struggle before it.

Wasted review of the day
Jacques Kallis has said having two reviews allows teams to try their luck on marginal calls, but South Africa used their first review of the fourth innings poorly. Morne Morkel was scaring New Zealand's batsmen with the short ball and Brendon McCullum was on the receiving end of one that moved back in sharply. It struck him on the shoulder and lobbed to AB de Villiers at third slip who signalled that he thought it was out as soon as he caught it. After a brief huddle, Graeme Smith decided to review the not-out decision but it only needed one look - in real time - to confirm it had not hit the bat or gloves.

Edited by Dustin Silgardo

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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