New Zealand v South Africa, 3rd Test, Wellington, 2nd day March 24, 2012

The rain teases and the northerly strikes

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the second day of the third Test between New Zealand and South Africa, in Wellington

Tease of the day
New Zealand's rain has had enough of a say in this series already and is now just poking fun at the players. After coming down through the night, and washing out the entire morning session, it held off for long enough to allow the ground to dry, and play was scheduled to start at 2pm. The outfield was ready, the covers were off, the players had warmed up and were in their whites. Then, a soft drizzle began two minutes before play was to start. Everything came to a halt and play was delayed for a further 25 minutes.

The northerly strikes
The fierce northerly came as predicted and the gusts of wind were so harsh, at times, they put the bowlers off, forcing them to restart their run-ups. Mark Gillespie suffered the most, as he was bowling at the time when the gusts were at their nastiest. On a few occasions, he had to pull out after making it all the way to his final stride. When he was forced to restart his run-up at the end of his first spell, he could not hide his frustration and pulled a face of ultimate annoyance.

Missing slip of the day
Ross Taylor seems to have an aversion to third slips. Not for the first time in the series, he would have had a wicket had there been one in place, as Alviro Petersen edged two balls into the third-slip region. The first was off Chris Martin in the third over of the day, a thick outside edge that brought up Petersen's half-century. Sixteen overs later, Petersen did it again. He followed a Doug Bracewell short ball and edged it to second-slip Martin Guptill's right. Guptill got a hand to it but could not hang onto a tough chance, letting Petersen off the hook a second time.

The African forest arrives in New Zealand
The weather did not make South Africa feel at home but the Wellington crowd did their best to change that. A dozen of them brought a bit of the African bush to the Basin Reserve by donning outfits that would keep them warm and provide some entertainment. Three zebras, two baboons, two lions, two elephants, one warthog, one giraffe and one monkey took their places on the steps leading down from the William Wakefield Memorial, and cheered on Alviro Petersen and JP Duminy's century partnership.

Edited by Dustin Silgardo

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent