South Africa v Australia, 1st Test, Cape Town, 3rd day November 11, 2011

The Nelson at 11:11 on 11/11/11

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

Drop of the day
When the Australians walked on to the ground on the third morning, they needed nine wickets for victory. They could not afford a mistake. So heads bowed and shoulders slumped when Shane Watson dropped Hashim Amla in the third over of the day. Ryan Harris found the edge of Amla's bat and Watson, moving to his left at first slip, spilled a catch that he certainly should have taken. The real damage was done on the second day, but Watson's mistake compounded Australia's problem significantly.

Desperation of the day
After that mistake, it was only natural that the Australians would be desperate to take any half-chance offered to them. Still, it was too optimistic of them to review a not-out lbw appeal when Harris struck Amla on the pad. Billy Doctrove denied their appeal and to the naked eye, the ball appeared to be sliding down leg. Hawk-Eye confirmed just that.

Shot of the day
Both Amla and Graeme Smith played some fine strokes but it was hard to go past an on-drive for four from Smith off Watson. Confident that Watson's pace would not threaten him, Smith walked down the pitch with almost Matthew Hayden-like disdain and flicked Watson smoothly wide of the man at mid-on. It was one of three boundaries in the over.

Maths of the day
With bizarre events dominating the Test, the third morning was an oasis of calm, save for one, uncanny occurrence. South Africa needed 111 runs to win at exactly 11:11 on the 11th day of the 11th month in 2011. The scoreboard read 11:11 11/11/11. Cricket South Africa asked all the fans in the crowd to stand on one leg for the duration of that minute and with the healthy Newlands crowd hopping about, umpire Ian Gould got into the spirit too.

Wait of the day
Nathan Lyon appeared to be in the side for his batting after he did not bowl at all in the first innings and had to wait 38 overs before he was given a chance to turn his arm. With a slip and a short leg in place, and 84 runs needed for South Africa to win, Lyon started by tossing it up. He bowled a fine first over, a maiden, and even had half a chance against the settled Smith. With his third delivery, Lyon had Smith defending on the leg side and the ball landed just wide of the short leg fielder.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo; Firdose Moonda is South Africa correspondent of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Akshat on November 14, 2011, 1:56 GMT

    There were other things at 11.11 am on 11.11.11..!!

    Total Target: 236: 2+3+6 = 11 Overs left in the day: 83: 8+3 = 11 Run rate achieved: 3.8: 3+8 = 11, Wickets lost = 1

  • Dummy4 on November 12, 2011, 4:18 GMT

    11/11/11....... An unforgettable day in test Cricket!!! South Africa 236 for 2 (Amla 112, Smith 101*) and 96 (Watson 5-17, Harris 4-33) beat Australia 284 (Clarke 151, Steyn 4-55) and 47 (Philander 5-15, Morkel 3-9) by eight wickets on the third day..... 23 wickets fallen in the third day of the match..... PEOPLE COULD NOT BELIEVE FOR A WHILE WHEN AUSTRALIA WERE 21/9!!!

  • Dummy4 on November 11, 2011, 15:02 GMT

    I Belive such kind of moment will not going to repeat again in the future.... What a Scorecard 11:11 11/11/11 and runs needed 111........

  • Dummy4 on November 11, 2011, 14:14 GMT

    this match was as interesting as anything..nd i wud lyk to appreciate the cricinfo guys for the way they wrote bout 11.11.11...very gud...nd bout the teams..they just rock cricket in all ways possible..!

  • K V S on November 11, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    Australia 284 and 47 v South Africa 96 and 236/2 via @espncricinfo

    Dreaded 11/11/11 ? Australia started their second innings at about 3pm local time, which was 00:00 11/11/11 in Australia! :) Any connection?

  • Dummy4 on November 11, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    The Nelson figure was the best of the lot. What an amazing match this was although the end result doesn't say so. Wouldn't this wicket be termed a "Sticky Wicket" in the Bradman era ?

  • Daniel on November 11, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    @Syam - you need to lay off the payote my good man...

  • Sai on November 11, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    This is probably the best test match of 2011, other than the epic NZ v Zim test which ended in NZ winning by 37 runs. Nevertheless, this was a great match with debutant Philiander taking 5/15 on debut. What is it with debutants these days? First, Ashwin takes 6/47 in 2nd innings and 9/128 in the match on debut, and now Philiander takes 5/15 in 2nd innings and 8/88 in the match on debut! Looking forward on other players making debut, it will be interesting!

  • Nagaraju on November 11, 2011, 12:52 GMT

    What a bowling attack from 2 teams,specialy SA ,as I am indian for me its awsome match :) and BCCI should find one bowler like steyn or morkel...

  • Dummy4 on November 11, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    This is one of the best test cricket match i have watched recently

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