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Firdose Moonda at Centurion
October 19, 2011
Body-blow of the day
Of the three seamers, Lonwabo Tsotsobe is the one that would be least likely to hurt someone. But, he did. After three overs of impeccable control, he surprised Australian captain Michael Clarke with a short ball that had a little extra gas. Clarke was beaten and got a small top edge onto his own helmet. The crack it made had the crowd thinking the gentle giant had drawn blood but after a drink and a new helmet, Clarke was ready to go again.
Musical chairs of the day
It was more like musical covers as a four-and-a-half hour rain delay turned the first ODI between these two teams into something that more closely resembled a third Twenty20. The covers came on and off as the showers went from misty to torrential and the sun teasingly peeked through the clouds in the early stages, promising that the downpour would let up at some stage. The first time the covers were pulled off, minutes after a blackout which turned off everything from the stadium lights to the power points, the stadium dj played a song by a local band, The Parlotones, with the lyrics, "You are all beautiful, you are all magical," thanking the crowd for staying. A fair few of them waited until the end, even though the temperature dropped and the air was chilly. The covers were taken off and put back five times before play restarted.
Boo of the day
Graeme Smith must be getting tired of hearing the sound of boos every time he walks out onto a cricket field. This time there wasn't much noise when Smith was in the field or when he came out to bat but there was a sense of expectation when he took first guard against Doug Bollinger. A nervous Smith left the first ball alone but shifted awkwardly and he was lucky to be gifted four overthrows off the second delivery. He dealt with the next two by at least getting bat to ball and then succumbed to the fifth. Smith was struck on the back pad after playing across the line and was given out lbw. He considered using the review and consulted with Amla but decided against it. As he trudged off the fans near the dressing room steps made it clear what they think of his form, and it isn't good.
ODI introduction of the day
With the hype surrounding Patrick Cummins, his debut in the fifty-overs format of the game was highly anticipated. Hashim Amla, usually known for nice-guy tendencies, had no such hospitality for the 18-year-old. His first ball was not shockingly short but it gave Amla the width to upper cut Virender Sehwag style, but better. He arched his back, raised his arms and sent the ball screaming over the covers to give the South African chase some momentum. Cummins was pasted for a square drive in the same over but made an incredible comeback bowling Jacques Kallis off the inside edge with a full delivery to claim his first ODI wicket.
Slip of the day
Wet weather means more mistakes on the Highveld, especially for motorists on the road, but also for fielders on a cricket field. Australia had done a reasonable job negotiating the dampness but they did make a few errors. The most notable of them was when Cummins dropped the simplest of catches off fellow debutant Mitchell Marsh. Johan Botha was the man let off the hook after he lobbed a tame pull to mid-on. Cummins made his ground to take the catch but after getting down on his haunches saw the ball bobble out of his palms. The only explanation could have been the slippery surface of the ball, because everything else seemed poised to take the catch.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondentFeeds: Firdose Moonda
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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