South Africa v India, 3rd Test, Cape Town, 4th day January 5, 2011

Harbhajan's lucky bail

ESPNcricinfo brings you the plays of the fourth day of the third Test between South Africa and India at Newlands

The kindness
It was a hot day with the temperatures reaching 36 degrees Celsius, and Jacques Kallis was struggling with bruised and contused ribs. When he collapsed with pain, waiting for the physiotherapist to arrive, he was flat on his back looking straight at the sun beating down on him. Umpire Simon Taufel provided him some relief, using his hat as a shield between the sun and Kallis.

The easily movable object
Hashim Amla was batting in front of the same stumps that refused to let go off the bail on the third day when he tried a premeditated sweep off Harbhajan Singh, who bowls at about 55kph slower than the unfortunate bowler Dale Steyn. More pace was taken off the ball as it ricocheted off the pad onto the arm and then softly rolled into the stumps. And lo, down came the bail. Sometimes, when it is not your Tuesday, it isn't your Wednesday either.

The shot
How many times have you seen Jacques Kallis reverse-sweep? Not often. He is such a correct player he hardly ever needs these frills. Today, though, with two batsmen before him struggling with the orthodox variety of sweep, and with strong leg-side fields, Kallis reverse-swept in a calculated manner. Cutting was not easy with the rough outside the off stump, and behind square on the off side was the one vacant area. So, the third ball Kallis faced from Harbhajan he shaped up for the sweep, then turned the bat the other way around, and got four for it. The desired response was instant as India stationed a deep point, and the 16 runs that Kallis got through 10 reverse-sweeps remained the highlight of the innings.

The boundary rider
Sreesanth hasn't had much fun fielding at the boundary during this series. Harbhajan Singh, though, earned some friends in the crowd on Wednesday. He was seen chatting, posing for photographs, and signing autographs. He even borrowed a fake moustache from someone in the crowd, took it with him when he was going to field inside the ring, and brought it back only when he was sent back again. High fives all round. A completely different vibe from the one he drew from the Australian crowds three years ago.

The breakthrough
India were out of inspiration, ideas and imagination during the partnership between Kallis and Mark Boucher when MS Dhoni handed the ball over to Sachin Tendulkar. In his second over, Tendulkar produced one that stayed low and trapped Boucher in front. It was his first Test wicket since April 2009. That didn't provide India with much inspiration, though, as a 54-run eighth-wicket stand between Kallis and Steyn followed.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at Cricinfo