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January 17, 2010
The queues were snaking around the Wanderers in the morning but there were few people inside. It soon became clear why. The servers which dealt with the ticket machines, and over which the ground had no control, crashed which meant that the punters couldn't be processed. Thankfully, in a superb piece of pro-active thinking, the ground authorities threw open the gates and allowed the fans in for free. It was a fine gesture and allowed the home supporters to witness their team's crushing victory.
Each day before play, the slip fielders go through a routine when someone, normally the coach, feeds them catches off the face of the bat to simulate match conditions. Jacques Kallis may have felt he was still in that mode when Ian Bell virtually guided the ball to him at second slip and Kallis was never going to grass such a simple chance. It was something of an old-style Bell dismissal but, on this occasion, he shouldn't be lambasted for a limp shot. He has done more than most England batsman to make this series into a contest.
With England five-down and tottering, Matt Prior was only going to play one way - and it wasn't going to be a Paul Collingwood-style rearguard. He could have gone first-ball when he clipped Morne Morkel off his pads, but Hashim Amla couldn't pull off his second stunning catch of the match. Next ball, though, there was no reprieve as he went for an expansive pull and the top-edge flew backwards over the keeper and slips. Both Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher began to back-pedal and it was the South Africa captain who gleefully accepted the chance.
Daryl gets it right
It was hold-your-breath time when Smith called for a review after Stuart Broad was given not out for a catch down the leg side. Guess who was back under the spotlight? Thankfully, for Daryl Harper, the volume didn't become the deciding factor as replays showed a clear deflection off Broad's glove, but he took his time to rock-and-roll the pictures just to make doubly sure. This one was definitely out and as Harper relayed the news to Tony Hill, Broad couldn't help but have a wry smile on his face, as he gestured to his armguard. He probably knew he'd gloved it, but given the match this match has gone, he might have thought he'd get away with it.
South Africa didn't pick a frontline spinner for this match and, with England subsiding in the second innings, it didn't look like they were in need of any slow stuff. Then, however, JP Duminy was thrown the ball and he enhanced his reputation as a bit of a golden arm when, with his first delivery, Paul Collingwood picked out deep square-leg. Duminy looked a little embarrassed, Mickey Arthur wore a broad grin on the dressing room balcony and all Collingwood could do was look forlornly at the crease. After a quick change of ends Duminy wrapped up victory by bowling Ryan Sidebottom. Perhaps he should have bowled sooner.
A look back at five high-profile exhibition matches
Bide your time, put your body behind each delivery, and play with the batsman's mind