South Africa v Australia, 2nd ODI, Port Elizabeth

Umpire denied and a birthday song

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the second one-day international in Port Elizabeth

Firdose Moonda in Port Elizabeth

October 23, 2011

Comments: 5 | Text size: A | A

Shane Watson suffered back spasms and went off the field, South Africa v Australia, 2nd ODI, Port Elizabeth, October 23, 2011
Shane Watson's injury was a big problem for Australia © AFP
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Micro-battle of the day
When Mitchell Johnson met Graeme Smith in 2009, the result was a broken hand. The Australian left-armer did not get a chance to square off against Smith in the first ODI at Centurion and although Johnson said he did not mind missing out then, he relished it at St George's Park. Smith looked a more fluent player than he has all series, which made the encounter even more challenging. He started tentatively but built confidence as his innings went on and when Johnson got in the way of him completing his 29th run, Smith had a few words and even wagged his finger. Two balls later, Johnson had the opportunity to run Smith out after the former South Africa captain was late off the blocks. The throw was horribly wayward and Smith had enough time to make his ground.

Injury of the day
Shane Watson's hip injury had healed sufficiently by the day before this match and Michael Clarke was confident that he would make a return. The importance of ensuring he is fit for the Test series has been on Australia's mind but they were also keen to get him back in the starting XI and to get him playing as an all-rounder again, after he did not bowl in the Champions League for New South Wales. He bowled three overs and four balls without incident but with the fifth ball dragged his arm through his follow through and pulled up, clutching his left side. He had to leave the field and looked in severe pain as he limped off. Some quick treatment ensured he came out to bat lower down the order which was a positive sign for his future participation.

Denial of the day
It is not often the umpire has a milestone to reach but Shaun George, standing in his first ODI, did. When Xavier Doherty appealed for lbw against David Miller in his last over and George lifted the finger, he had given his first international dismissal. And then, it turned out that he hadn't. Miller asked for the decision to be reviewed and HotSpot showed that he got an inside edge, albeit a faint one. The small white mark on the game's most expensive technology meant that George had to u-turn on his pronouncement and Miller was allowed to bat on. He ended up reaching his highest ODI score with a quick half-century.

Six of the day
With South Africa in a brutal mood, the ball was getting comfortable being on the other side of the rope. However, it probably didn't expect to be launched onto the roof of the President's suite pavilion. Cummins got a lesson in the problems with bowling length on a flat pitch when JP Duminy launched him over his head and onto the tin roof. The media box is just below that and members of the press could hear the ball rolling along and saw it drop off the other side.

Captain's calamity of the day
The South African leadership appears a poisoned chalice and it seems that when one of the captain's gets something, another one cannot. It was Hashim Amla's day to have a hard time and the pain started when he was out for a duck off the first ball of the innings. But things got much worse when Amla dropped a sitter while fielding at mid-on. David Warner fed a slower ball straight to him and Amla had his fingers around it before the ball spilt out of his hands. Lonwabo Tsotsobe, who had bowled well up to that point and already had a wicket to his name, was distressed at not being able to add a second but had to bite his tongue to avoid cursing his captain.

Song of the day
Port Elizabeth's steel band makes it one of the most unique venues to watch cricket. Every season, they seem to have an adaptation of a modern song. This time it was Pitbull's Give me Everything, which was played a good few times. They also had their usual hits which include the national anthem, the traditional tune She'll be coming down the mountain and South African favourite Shosholoza. But on Sunday, they had a special song to play. It was Happy Birthday, which they belted out for Brad Haddin in celebration of his 34th year. They followed it up with For he's a jolly good fellow, which Haddin must have heard, but did not acknowledge.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Piyush_Advani on (October 25, 2011, 10:08 GMT)

@rawr94 one of Mitchell Johnson's family members had died so they wore the armbands.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2011, 7:20 GMT)

@Clayton Burne. What an superv comment you made. The word 'UNIQUE' is absolute. Its one of my very few favorite words available in an English Dictionary

Posted by rawr94 on (October 24, 2011, 1:21 GMT)

what were the black arm bands for?

Posted by bumsonseats on (October 23, 2011, 21:59 GMT)

im still not sure he hit it. the same hot spot was visible before the bowl passed the bat and it did not seem to get larger.dpk

Posted by   on (October 23, 2011, 20:31 GMT)

The word 'unique' is an absolute word, you cannot be more or less or very unique.

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