New Zealand v South Africa, 2nd Test, Hamilton, 3rd day March 17, 2012

Philander's routine, and South Africa's desperation

Plays of the Day from the third day of the second Test between New Zealand and South Africa in Hamilton

Hopeful review of the day
After Jacques Kallis had Daniel Vettori caught behind, South Africa seemed in a hurry to end the match as quickly as possible. Three balls later, they asked for a review on an lbw appeal that was turned down against Kruger van Wyk. The diminutive wicket-keeper was struck on his front pad, after getting a good stride in and looked, to the naked eye, to have been hit outside the line. The review confirmed that he was and although the ball would have gone on to clip off stump, the umpire's call stood. It appeared to be an act of desperation, though, as South Africa hoped to run through New Zealand and give themselves two days off.

Captaincy move of the day
As lunch approached and South Africa looked for something to tease their appetites with, Mark Boucher decided he would take over. He walked over to Dale Steyn to offer some advice and kept going all the way to the fast-bowler's mark with him. On his walk back to his own position, Boucher ordered Hashim Amla, who was fielding at short leg to hand over his helmet and move to deep square, to wait for the pull shot, and rearranged the slips. Steyn's next delivery was a fiery bouncer but van Wyk didn't have to do much other than duck under it.

Shot of the day
Mark Gillespie proved himself to be an all or nothing man with the ball and he seems to be that way with the bat as well. He faced nine entertaining deliveries including one that he sent sailing for six with all the carefreeness of a balloon left to coast through the air. It was a good-length ball, Gillespie made room for himself and slogged over long-on. The boundaries are not particularly long so the big hit found itself well over and as a bonus, a member of the crowd caught it and won 200 New Zealand dollars for his efforts, the first time that has happened successfully in the match.

Walk off the day
Vernon Philander has become used to leading the pack off the field and he did it again at the end of New Zealand's second innings. With ball in hand Philander was first through the white picket fence and onto the paving where Gary Kirsten greeted him with a high five and Allan Donald with a pat on the back. South Africa let Dale Steyn walk in next and Morne Morkel after him as all the bowlers were allowed their moment of glory. At the back of the queue was a reluctant Imran Tahir, who bowled 17 overs without a wicket and must feel as though Test cricket isn't giving him what he hoped it would. Tahir hoped to slink in with the rest but AB de Villiers nudged him forward and clapped him in, a gesture of reassurance over his role in the side.

Nail-in-coffin moment of the day
New Zealand must have known they were out of luck when Gillespie appealed for lbw against Graeme Smith and was found to have overstepped on review. The ball appeared to have struck Smith in line and ball-tracking replays showed that it may have shaved leg stump. None of it mattered because Gillespie's foot was a good few centimetres over the line. Doctrove also missed a no-ball in the first Test, off Doug Bracewell who appealed against Jacques Rudolph in the first innings in Dunedin. The only joy New Zealand got out of both of those was that they were given their reviews back.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ntokozo on March 17, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    Well, this series is turning out exactly as I predicted. The so-called "pace duel" between SA and NZ quicks has proved to be another Kiwi myth. Philander has comprehensively out-bowled Bracewell, and despite Steyn not being at his best, he has still proved to be weigh ahead of Martin. Tahir has also out-bowled Vettori as I predicted. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise that SA were bowled out cheaply in the first innings, otherwise the match might have been delayed unnecessarily. However, having taken so much flak for average batting in the first two matches, I expect SA's batsmen to come out firing in the next Test. This match has shown that SA's bowlers would have been too good for NZ on Day 5 of the previous Test had rain not intervened. Another easy win is on the cards in the last Test.

  • Dummy4 on March 17, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    1 word 2 syllables... Wagner.

  • John on March 17, 2012, 4:37 GMT

    Man, Philander is unstoppable! I'm an England fan and I like the England bowling squad and people like RandyOZ can flap their lips all they like about the Australian bowlers but, with de Lange waiting in the wings, I'd probably rate SA as still the #1 bowling attack in the world. Steyn still seems to be a big threat although Philander seems to be taking most of the wickets these days. I guess Morkel might be the biggest worry as he seems to have been off the boil for a while.

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