South Africa v New Zealand, 1st Test, Cape Town, 2nd day January 3, 2013

Elgar's mixed day

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day as New Zealand put up something of a fight on the second day at Newlands

Cheers of the day

Dean Elgar would have had butterflies doing the tango is his tummy as he walked out to bat. Having bagged a pair in Perth, he had yet to score his first run in Test cricket and although dressing room insiders said he was unperturbed about getting off the mark, it would still have been a relief when he did. Elgar turned the first ball he faced to square leg and jogged through for a single as the Newlands crowd applauded as though he made many more. At the other end, Elgar grinned in response and leaned casually on his bat, as though he had doing nothing more momentous than usual.

Body-blow of the day

Although New Zealand bowled better on the second morning it did not help their cause a huge amount, although there was one telling blow. Doug Bracewell got a ball to kick up off one the much-talked about cracks in the surface and land painfully on AB de Villiers' left hand. Immediately, he pulled his hand away and wrung it but almost as quickly gave the thumbs up with his other hand to indicate nothing serious had been done. He called for assistance at the end of the over though but batted on as confirmation that Bracewell had stirred something but not shaken anyone.

Delay of the day

DRS has featured very little in this match but it still managed to make it into the notable events because of how it was applied in the 10th over of the New Zealand innings. Vernon Philander insisted on a review for a caught behind off Kane Williamson, after indicating that he thought the batsman had edged the ball through to AB de Villiers while attempting to leave. Replays showed the ball had passed close to the bat and Hotspot did not pick up anything. Both those made it obvious that there was not enough evidence to over-turn the not-out on-field decision but it took about seven minutes before play was resumed - enough time for the players to have a drink and the DRS dissidents to gather more ammunition on how it negatively affects the game. Moments early, Smith had opted not to review an lbw shout which would have been overturned.

Fielding of the day

Faf du Plessis is enthusiastic but sometimes a little over the top. When Dean Brownlie defended a Philander delivery to point was one of those times. All du Plessis needed to do was the simple stop and pick up but he decided to attempt an aggressive throw before he had balanced himself properly. One-handed, du Plessis flung the ball to the non-striker's end where neither mid-on nor mid-off were expecting it and it went through to give Brownlie five.

Short ball of the day

Dale Steyn looked to be struggling to find rhythm in the post-tea session and was starting to get frustrated. Then he sent a snorter through to Brownlie that rose on awkwardly and threatened to hit him in the jugular. Brownlie was on his toes defending off the splice and got an edge to Elgar at gully. Elgar got both his hands to the ball but could not hold on. It was not an overly difficult chance and he seemed to have misjudged it to leave Steyn with no reward from the best ball of the day.

Drops of the day

Brownlie was let off again in the next over when he was still on 23. Philander tried the short ball and Brownlie cut to gully where Alviro Petersen could not hold on to the low chance. But as Brownlie was counting his lucky stars, McCullum was given an escape route too. He edged Steyn to second slip to present the toughest of the three chances. Jacques Kallis dived to his right, one-handed but the ball was just out of his grasp.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shipu on January 3, 2013, 23:28 GMT

    I saw him in that tri-series last year against Zim and Ban and he played pathetically just overrated by the South Africans.

  • des on January 3, 2013, 23:20 GMT

    cloudmess: And the Kiwis didn't select Wagner either.

  • David on January 3, 2013, 21:37 GMT

    Pity Elgar and Strauss didn't play on opposing sides in England last summer.

  • Seano on January 3, 2013, 20:03 GMT

    Spot on surly... That was a decent catch.... AB looks like he has upped his game behind the stumps.

  • des on January 3, 2013, 17:01 GMT

    Well the best side of DRS was shown later when Brownlie was given out off Steyn and the ball came off his shirt, so he was saved by DRS.

    Surprised to see no mention of AB's great take off the inside edge to give Kallis his second wicket. The ball was dying on him and he had had to change direction, any keeper would have been pleased with that. It seems there are lots of people waiting to criticise AB's keeping but not prepared to give him credit when he does well.

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