South Africa v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Port Elizabeth, 1st day January 11, 2013

Don't drop Amla, simple

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the opening day in Port Elizabeth

Drop of the day
Teams around the world should have learnt: don't drop Hashim Amla. But still, New Zealand did it. Amla was on 48 when he slashed at a short, wide Trent Boult ball, Kane Williamson needed to move his left to take the catch. He reacted too slowly and by the time he got to the ball all Williamson could do get a loose hand to it. He gave Amla a second chance and that was all he needed. Amla brought up his 19th Test century and fourth against New Zealand as the day drew to a close.

Aggression of the day
Brendon McCullum asked his bowlers to show more intent and at least one of them listened. With the first ball of his second over, Doug Bracewell opted for the short ball and found some awkward bounce. Graeme Smith took his eyes off the ball and as he turned away, was hit on the back of the head. Smith did not seem rattled at first but soon realised he needed a few minutes to recompose himself. He crouched to his haunches and called for the medical team. There was no blood but he seemed a little woozy. After a few sips of water and a quiet word with the physiotherapist, Smith was ready to carry on.

Disbelief of the day
In three overs after lunch, Smith scored four boundaries as he muscled his way to a half-century. He was looking as imperious as he did in Perth last month when he scored at seven runs an over with Amla to bat Australia out of the match. Smith turned the ball fine to beat the legslip in the over before he was dismissed but when he tried to repeat that, he gloved it through to BJ Watling. Smith was furious with himself and it showed. He shook his head all the way from the crease to the edge of the boundary where he slowed down to watch the replay of his own dismissal. On seeing how he was caught down the leg-side, he continued to mutter and mumble in anger.

Shots of the day
Jacques Kallis greeted Port Elizabeth with an imperious pull shot off Doug Bracewell to bring up his first runs. It was an uncharacteristically aggressive start for Kallis but it became even more so when he followed up with another pull off the next ball. The second shot was played in absolute anger as Kallis hit the ball hard and kept it along the ground. Those were Kallis' only scoring shots but they were memorable.

Non-review of the day
New Zealand considered reviewing an lbw shout against Smith off Bracewell's bowling. It would have been in vain because even though the ball was hitting the stumps, Bracewell had overstepped. What they should have reviewed was the caught behind off Faf du Plessis after the second new ball had been taken. Watling, McCullum and Boult who was bowling appealed as the ball looked to have grazed du Plessis' glove but did not ask for it to go upstairs. What should have tipped them off was the guilty look on du Plessis' face and the sheepish glance he tried to make in New Zealand's direction. Hotspot showed a mark on the glove and New Zealand missed out on the chance to end day one on a high.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments