Cummins get a pat, Steyn tees off
Cultural connection of the day
Sociological experts have been watching the contest between the two team's foreign-born players with interest. Imran Tahir and Usman Khawaja are the first Pakistan-born players to represent South Africa and Australia respectively, and they created a small piece of their own history when Tahir was bowling to Khawaja. When Tahir had Khawaja caught at slip, the tale had come full circle. Khawaja misread the googly and was rooted to the crease as he pushed forward to end an innings of patience and poise. Tahir brought the encounter to a close with a customary over-the-top celebration.
Shot of the day
Dale Steyn is no bunny with the bat and his 76 against Australia in Melbourne was an example of that. With South Africa leading by 236 and only three second innings-wickets left standing, Steyn strode to the crease. He edged the first ball he faced for four but settled in to form a handy 48-run eighth-wicket stand with Vernon Philander. When both Philander and Morkel were dismissed off consecutive deliveries with the lead still under 300, Steyn took it upon himself to push South Africa along. In the second over after lunch, he teed off against Peter Siddle, slamming six over long-on. It was a good length delivery and Steyn got under it perfectly.
Leave of the day
There are well judged leaves, risky leaves and then, there's Shane Watson's leave. What the batsman was thinking when he chose to shoulder arms against Vernon Philander only he will know. Perhaps, after seeing the first ball move away sharply, Watson anticipated that the second would do the same. It didn't. Philander got a length ball to straighten on Watson, who had taken a stride forward and expected to see the delivery sail through to the keeper. It removed the bails, sending Watson on his way without scoring and rubber-stamping Philander's role as South Africa's new opening bowler.
Delay of the day
Billy Bowden doesn't mind being the centre of attention and all eyes were certainly on him when Australia appealed for a caught-behind off the first ball after lunch. Pat Cummins was convinced his bouncer had touched the gloves of Philander. Bowden remained unmoved. Cummins was so enthusiastic that he ran all the way to the slips cordon while appealing. It looked like he might have been at risk of a fine for excessive appealing, until Bowden eventually raised his finger, long after most spectators had stopped looking in his direction. Perhaps he was giving Philander a chance to walk. Whatever the case, the right decision was made.
Missed opportunity of the day
Cummins is already Australia's second-youngest Test player of all time, and he nearly became the youngest man ever to take a Test hat-trick. He got rid of Philander, yorked Morne Morkel next ball and was hoping to finish off the innings with Imran Tahir's wicket. Michael Clarke gave Cummins five slips and the bowler sent down a pretty well-directed yorker, but Tahir was up to the challenge and kept it out.
Gesture of the day
As Cummins walked off the field to the applause of his team-mates and the crowd, after taking 6 for 79, he was approached by one of the all-time greats of fast bowling. Allan Donald is South Africa's bowling coach and was on the field preparing for some fielding practice. Despite his affiliation, he came up and shook the hand of Cummins and patted him on the back. Cummins was nine when Donald bowed out of international cricket, but he remembered seeing him at work. "I do remember a couple of games growing up," Cummins said. "Actually there was some footage we watched the other day - I think he bowled about six bumpers in a row at one of the batsman and he didn't look like too much fun to face. It was very nice of him, he just said 'congratulations' and we kept on walking, but it was a nice moment."
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo; Firdose Moonda is ESNcricinfo's South African correspondent