New Zealand v South Africa, 2nd Test, Hamilton, 1st day

Morkel's late reaction and a first for van Wyk

Firdose Moonda in

March 15, 2012

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Dale Steyn celebrates a wicket, New Zealand v South Africa, 2nd Test, Hamilton, 1st day, March 15, 2012
Dale Steyn combined with Vernon Philander to rip out five New Zealand wickets for no runs © Getty Images
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Delayed appeal of the day
South Africa did not have as much success as they would have liked in the morning session and eventually their desperation came through. The post-drinks passage had yielded just one run and pressure was building when Morne Morkel struck Brendon McCullum on his back pad. Mark Boucher and the slip cordon all went up immediately but Morkel had simply continued in his follow through to pick the ball up. On hearing the chorus continue, he though it wise to join in. He swiftly turned on his heel, arms in the air and let out a loud yell, somewhat unconvincingly to Billy Doctrove, who had already decided that it was going down leg.

Wet blanket of the day
After the rained out final day in Dunedin, the last thing anyone wanted to see was more rain, but 45 minutes after lunch, it arrived. A barely-there drizzle caused the umpires to call for the covers when almost no-one in the ground seemed to be affected by it. None of the spectators moved, no umbrellas were up and even Lonwabo Tsotsobe and JP Duminy continued playing their amateur game of football undisturbed. Doctrove and Richard Kettleborough must have known something the rest of us didn't, because minutes later a light shower passed over the ground. And left. And came back. Over an hour of play was wasted because of it and as soon as it dried up, tea was taken, only for another hour to be spent watching rain.

Wicket of the day
It's tough to pick between the five wickets that fell for no runs to derail New Zealand from a position of relative security to one that completely justified Graeme Smith's decision to put them in. The wicket that captured the collapse best was the one that fell in the middle. Dale Steyn had found his rhythm in menacing fashion and was hitting the mid-140s when he attacked Kane Williamson with a short ball that was aimed at offstump. Williamson had no choice but to play at it and fended it off the glove to Smith at first slip.

Closed-eyes shot of the day
Mark Gillespie came to the crease with an all or nothing approach and he started off giving it his all. Off the 15th ball he faced, a short one from Vernon Philander, he took his eyes off and tried to take cover but left his bat out. The ball took the top edge and sailed over the leg-side boundary and into the stands for an audacious six.

Catch of the day
Alviro Petersen timed his leapt to perfection to dismiss Gillespie off Imran Tahir's bowling. Graeme Smith took two sharp catches at first slip after missing a tough chance earlier on. But Kruger van Wyk had waited an entire Test match to take his first catch as wicketkeeper and it finally came in the fifth over of his second. Graeme Smith chased a wide Chris Martin delivery and van Wyk had to dive full stretch to his right to take the catch as it died on him to open his account in international cricket.

Edited by Tariq Engineer

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by TRexGotPhD on (March 15, 2012, 23:08 GMT)

Cricinfo, so how come if Dale Steyn bowls at high 130s - mid 140s, he gets labeled as "Fast", while Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma get labeled "Fast Medium" or in Varun Aaron's case "Medium-Fast", even though they are consistently faster than Steyn? In fact, Ishant was the fastest bowler on this Australian tour by some distance, regularly hitting upper 150s. So did Yadav. Is it some conspiracy against labeling Indian bowlers "Fast"? Javagal Srinath was seriously quick but he was still "Fast Medium" even though he was as quick as Allan Donald during the India-South Africa series many years ago. No offence against Steyn, he is the best bowler in the world currently.

Posted by FatBoysCanBat on (March 15, 2012, 10:13 GMT)

The description doesn't really do justice for how good van Wyk's catch actually was. Martin was bowling around the wicket to smith and bowled a full-wide delivery. Smith went to drive through the covers [perhaps his first off-side shot in the innings] and the ball held its line and took the inside-edge. van Wyk was moving to his left [towards the off-side] to cover the original line of the ball when he had to dive back to his right [against his own body momentum] to clutch the ball with his out-stretched right hand about an inch above the surface. Perhaps the hardest catch to take for a keeper??

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