New Zealand v South Africa, 3rd Test, Wellington, 1st day March 23, 2012

The drop, and Wellington's grammar police

Plays of the Day from the first day of the third Test between New Zealand and South Africa in Wellington

Kallis moment of the day
South Africans are often of the view that Jacques Kallis does not get the recognition he is due and that his importance to the team is often undervalued. If they needed evidence that it is not, it came today. Kallis was forced to withdraw from the match because of a stiff neck, making it the first time since the Boxing Day Test in 2006 that he has missed a Test for South Africa.

Usually, he plays despite his niggles. Against India in January last year, he batted with a side strain which the team doctor described as being as painful as breaking a rib every time he moved and scored a hundred in each innings. Kallis' injury meant that South Africa had to reshuffle their XI to maintain balance. They were forced to sacrifice their frontline spinner, Imran Tahir, because Kallis needs two players to replace him. JP Duminy was named in the middle order and Marchant de Lange will do the bowling duties in Kallis' absence.

DRS decision of the day
Technology has come to play a starring role in this series and found its way into the spotlight again. Graeme Smith was given out by Aleem Dar after Doug Bracewell got one to nip back in as Smith attempted a cover drive. New Zealand were convinced bat met ball but Smith was not and asked for the review. Hot Spot did not reveal anything, although there was a noise but Billy Doctrove, who is the third umpire for the match, upheld Dar's decision.

Last week, Virtual Eye inventor Ian Taylor said the umpires should be able to use their discretionary powers to over-rule technology, if they felt they had enough evidence to do so, and this may have been the first application of that theory.

Sign of the day
Officials at the ground took decisive action after a lengthy delay caused by too much movement on the grandstand end held up play when Mark Gillespie was bowling. The staircase leading to the stand was soon being manned by someone who had to tie a rope blocking off access every time the bowling changed ends. Printed posters were also made, which read "Please remain seated whilst bowling from this end." The spectators who saw the suited man in their way sniggered as he went about his task while Dean Brownlie bowled. It turned out they belonged to the grammar police as one of them piped up, "Does Dean Brownlie know he should be seated now?"

Drop of the day
When Alviro Petersen charged down the track to Daniel Vettori, the ball was headed the way of those sitting on the grass embankment at long-on. It travelled long and high, giving a spectator enough time to get under it and after running to his left, he let the ball slip through his fingers. He lost the chance to win $200, which he was reminded of as the big screen flashed the amount, and ducked his head in embarrassment at his mistake.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 24, 2012, 0:46 GMT

    Mr. Tindale - the latest news is that the noise occured two frames before the ball passed the edge of the bat.

  • Martin on March 23, 2012, 12:00 GMT

    The talk of over-ruling the technology was with regards to ball tracking, not hotspot so I am bemused as to why the umpire might choose to ignore the lack of anything showing on hotspot. I also would love to hear the explanation as to how contact was made between bat and ball despite there being a visibly large space between bat and ball, not to mention no sign of deviation off the bat. Yes there was a sound but there was absolutely no evidence to indicate that the sound was caused by bat hitting ball. We must not forget that sound can be caused by things other than a bat hitting a ball, as Mark Richardson said: "The sound could have been made by Smith passing wind for all we know". Ultimately though I don't think the decision is going to have much of an impact on the result of the game.

  • Paul on March 23, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    Blake, as I say, I've not seen the footage but I believe even the one-eyed Sky NZ commentary team said so large was the gap between bat and ball that you could drive the proverbial truck through it.

    And if Doull, Smithie and co say as much, you can be sure the QE II could have passed through the gap.

    I look forward to your similarly academic analysis when Taylor or McCullum are given out to a shocker of this nature. Of course, I won't be holding my breath.

  • Brenton on March 23, 2012, 10:18 GMT

    Conclusive proof that he didnt hit it - no spot on the bat. Hot spot works on heat generated when two objects meet. No heat, no meet. Why make it availble for use and then discard the results it obtains. Maybe when obvious plays and misses occur it should be reviewed and given out since there will be no spot on hotspot and it could be argued that the technology is wrong.

  • joseph on March 23, 2012, 9:56 GMT

    SA-still not considering a specialist spinner. That's setting a bad benchmark

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    Shongololo -they use the technology to find conclusive proof that the decision is incorrect. If conclusive proof is not found the umpires decision stands. The umpires still makes the primary decision.

    The ball made a noise exactly (with the technology available) when the ball passed the bat, no gap can be seen between the ball and bat and the ball looked to deviate. Therefore there is not enough proof that the decision is wrong.

    Had it been given out then it would have stayed out, as there is not enough proof that he is out, as hot spot did not show contact with the bat.

    The point of the technology is remove cleary incorrect decisions!!!

  • Paul on March 23, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    I haven't seen the Smith dismissal but surely, if there is no hot spot, the third umpire MUST reverse the decision?

    This 'discretionary powers' argument is an ass. Either you use the technology and agree to abide by its finding, or you ditch it and abide by the umpire's call. Can't have a bit of both, for that will soon sew serious seeds of discontent.

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