South Africa v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Port Elizabeth, 3rd day January 13, 2013

Steyn bounces back hard

Plays of the Day from the third day of the second Test between South Africa and New Zealand

Working over of the day
Unlike some of his team-mates, Dale Steyn is no childhood friend of Neil Wagner and it does not look as though he wants to be an adult chum of his either. After Wagner tried to scare Steyn with a few short balls and even hit him on the hand when he was batting on day two, Steyn meted out the same treatment but with better results. Five bouncers in a row in the mid-140s were hurled at Wagner, one of which was wide down the leg side and the message was clear. Then Steyn bowled a touch fuller, still back of a length and Wagner played outside the line and was struck on the pad. Even though Wagner was convinced he had edged, and a slight Hot Spot was visible, he was given out and stayed out.

Technique of the day
Jeetan Patel drew a few giggles the last time he batted because he took guard from what looked a mile outside leg stump. Brendon McCullum said he'd been working on his batting but it didn't show. Patel was so scared of facing Steyn that he exposed his stumps again, first dancing outside off to try and hook and then almost running away from them to square leg as a ball came in on off stump, which was duly removed. Still some work to be done with the willow then.

Smash of the day
New Zealand's line-up have not done too much damage in the series but Trent Boult made sure he made an impact on St George's Park. As New Zealand's last pairing of the first innings showed all the ones who had come before them how it should have been done, Boult charged Rory Kleinveldt and lofted him over long-on. The ball sailed into the main pavilion and crashed into the match office window where it met the public announcer and some of the officials of the stadium, including the media liaison lady, who almost got hit by it. Despite their positioning low behind the bowlers arm, the Port Elizabeth windows don't get broken often but Boult left his mark.

Irritation of the day
McCullum has been dismissed by the "innocuous" Robin Peterson in three of his four innings in the series. The latest one left him particularly irritated with himself, as he missed a straight ball and was struck in front. McCullum was given out but reviewed in hope, although the ball-tracking only confirmed that the ball was clipping leg stump. McCullum was so annoyed at falling to Peterson again that he walked off waving his hand at the fielders in disgust.

Where's my fielding position moment of the day?
At the start of the 51st over, Ryan McLaren came on for Dale Steyn but had no clue where he was supposed to go. He started off by running to the square leg umpire but was re-directed by Robin Peterson, the bowler, to move to the off side. Once there, McLaren thought he was to stand at slip but was shifted further and moved to cover. Graeme Smith wanted to stand there himself and moved McLaren into the point position where he was not sure how deep he was needed. With Smith, AB de Villiers and Peterson all waving their arms and pointing in different directions, it's no surprise McLaren wasn't sure where he had to be. Eventually, he got it right.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mark on January 14, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    It is sad for so many to admit that SA are the best in the world and deserve their position. The SA best, could beat the best team chosen from any nation. They won't be number one forever, so give them the credit they have worked hard for while they are there,

  • Basil on January 14, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    No team is in the class of SA right now NOT England; NOT India and definately NOT Australia; so Australian fans keep on dreaming ; Pakistan will give SA a good challlenge because I believe they have the second best-bowling attack

  • Sam` on January 14, 2013, 5:03 GMT


    Bahahaha, you are seriously comparing Cummins, Harris and Pattinson, with 20 Tests and about 80 wickets between them, to Steyn, Morkel and Philander who have about 550, along with years more experience? Aussie fans seriously have an issue with denial and acceptance. How long is the injury excuse going to be bandied about before any Aussie followers acknowledge Philander missing Adelaide, Kallis missing all but 3 overs in Adelaide (as a bowler at least), Duminy missing the entire first test? Dropped catches? What about Cowan dodging a no-ball half-way through his Brisbane knock? What about Clarke plonking about 8 mis-hits into vacant space in Brisbane? Should have, could have, would have. Learn to accept defeat with some grace.

  • David on January 14, 2013, 3:05 GMT

    Without question, over the last year Aus are the only team that gave SA a run for their money. Eng fared worse than Sri Lanka or NZ. SA's biggest series victory was against Eng. That shows just how divorced from reality are the comments of Front-Foot-Lunge, England's token troll & all round offensive embarrassment.

    Against SA, England suffered the most comprehensive defeat in the history of test cricket. S Rajesh noted on Cricinfo that Eng's bowlers "took two wickets for 637 runs, an average of 318.50 runs per wicket. England's batsmen... averaged 31.25 in the match. The difference of 287.25 is the highest in a Test which has produced a result, which makes this the most comprehensive win ever."

    No test team ever was as thoroughly thrashed as Eng were in 2012. No-one is as consistently wrong as Front-Foot-Lunge. However, Eng rebounded with a series against India. Lunge keeps getting worse. Sad, but true.

  • Chris on January 14, 2013, 1:23 GMT

    FFL - I know you make these comments all the time, but that one is just crazy. Australia did not have Harris, Pattinson or Cummins available (and Bird has sinced debuted as well). All four of those bowlers average under 24. Australia's selectors were left to pick a B team of bowlers who all average around 30. It is the equivalent of SA having to play without Steyn, Philander and Morkel. Furthermore, had it rained in Perth instead of Brisbane or had we taken any of the important catches in Adelaide, Australia would likely be no.1 by now. SA got lucky with the weather and injuries, but I do concede that is part of the game and SA deserve to be no.1 right now. The point is that Australia were not outclassed by any means against this outstanding SA side and in fact came much closer to winning the series than many were expecting. NZ however, have had absolutely no chance and have been completely humiliated in all facets of the game.

  • Syed on January 13, 2013, 23:31 GMT

    Dont try and do things to Steyn, when Steyn can do it better Wagner :P. Its a huge risk lol. Never have I heard an International player getting scared of a ball but then again Steyn is a scary guy when he is bowling!!

  • des on January 13, 2013, 20:40 GMT

    DeckChairand6pack: Final test? You do realise this is a two test series, don't you?

  • Dummy4 on January 13, 2013, 19:27 GMT

    DeckChairand6pack this is the final test

  • greig on January 13, 2013, 18:24 GMT

    Having now seen SA play both Australia and New Zealand. Im quite confident is saying that both teams are on level pegging.