South Africa v Australia, 1st Test, Cape Town, 2nd day November 10, 2011

The Watson referral that wasn't

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the second day of the first Test between South Africa and Australia in Cape Town

Review of the day
On a day when nine reviews were requested by the players, one stood out for audacity and, as it turned out, accuracy. Ryan Harris appealed for lbw when AB de Villiers pushed forward with bat and pad close together and Billy Doctrove gave a decisive decision in the negative. To the naked eye, it wasn't even clear that the ball had hit the pad, as it ran off the bat out towards cover. But Harris convinced Michael Clarke to ask for the review and Hot Spot confirmed the ball had struck the pad fractionally before the bat. Hawk-Eye suggested it was going on to hit the stumps and de Villiers was sent on his way. It's hard to imagine any umpire giving it out in the pre-DRS days. But by the letter of the law and with the help of technology, it was rightly shown to be out.

Over of the day
Thirteen wickets fell in the second session and it all started with the first over after lunch. Clarke opened the session with Shane Watson, who with his second ball was convinced he had Hashim Amla lbw. Ian Gould said not out, Watson urged Clarke to review and the decision was overturned. Four deliveries later, another Gould decision was changed, when Jacques Kallis top-edged a pull into his shoulder and the ball lobbed to slip. Again Australia were certain; again they were correct. Watson had 2 for 0 from one over, and his day was only to get better - with the ball, that is.

Non-review of the day
With the bat, Watson made his first mistake of the day when he declined to ask for a review when he was given lbw by Ian Gould off the bowling of Dale Steyn in the first over of the second innings. As Watson walked off the ground, before he had reached the rope, the replays had been shown on the big screen: Hawk-Eye showed the ball sailing over the top of the stumps. It was the start of a remarkable collapse.

Reckless shot of the day
The batting on display at Newlands was comparable to a car crash and the shot that confirmed the extent of the wreckage was hit by Michael Hussey. The usually unruffled Mr Cricket played a rash front foot drive to a ball he could easily have left off the first ball he faced. Hussey arrived after tea with Australia in an unflattering position at 13 for 3, but with a healthy enough lead and wickets in hand to bat South Africa out of the match. Instead, he flayed bizarrely and had Australia trapped in a spiral that spun dramatically downwards.

Runs of the day
There were not too many to choose from, but with Australia sitting precariously on 21 for 9, the runs of the day came. At that point, the record for the lowest Test innings score of all time was perched like a glass on the edge of a table - at imminent risk of being shattered. Peter Siddle caught the falling the tumbler, although it was with a lump in his throat and butter on his hands. The four that saved Australia from complete ignominy was a streaky one, which flew between third slip and gully as Siddle went forward to defend a fullish delivery.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo