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ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the opening exchanges of the series between South Africa and Pakistan
Firdose Moonda at the Wanderers
February 1, 2013
Birthday celebrations of the day
At 159 for 4 at tea, there was not cause for too much celebration but Cricket South Africa had planned on-field festivities for Smith. He was led out in front of the grass embankment where the sports minister, in a replica Test jersey, made a short speech. Smith thanked the crowd, his family and the suits and was then presented with a cricket-themed cake. A bat, boot, pads and stumps made up the culinary delight and Smith mock bit into it for the cameras. "Happy Birthday," was sung, albeit a little softly and out of tune, mostly by the schoolkids from Smith's old place of learning, King Edward School and he applauded them in appreciation before returning to the dressing room.
Number of the day
While 32 (Smith's age) and 100 were the only numbers most cared about, Jacques Kallis reached another milestone. He notched up 13,000 career runs against New Zealand but some of those were for the World XI. Today, he scored 13,000 for South Africa with a straight drive that sliced the area between the bowler and the non-striker in half perfectly. Kallis went on to score his 58th Test fifty before he was stopped by one of Pakistan's superb fielding efforts.
Catch of the day
When Kallis top-edged a pull shot off Umar Gul, Asad Shafiq at deep square-leg would have known he was in business but may not have expected the job to require that much effort. He had to move to his left and dive full stretch to get to the ball in time. He did both with ease to snatch an important wicket for Pakistan.
Innocuous dismissal of the day
In Australia, David Warner's part-time legspin accounted for Hashim Amla. In Johannesburg, Younis Khan's dibby-dobblers did it. With his quicks needing a break, Misbah-ul-Haq turned to Younis to provide a bit of relief. He was not meant to cause much damage, only hold up an end for a period and his first two balls illustrated exactly that. Two gentle medium pacers, one of which bounced twice on its way to the wicket-keeper did not hint at anything threatening. Amla was lulled into a false sense of security that he lashed out at the third ball, an attempted cut over gully. Azhar Ali had to react quickly to snatch the ball out of the air and he timed his jump perfectly to make sure he did. Another great bit of fielding yielded another wicket.
DRS moment of the day
Technology came under the spotlight when Rahat Ali was denied his maiden Test wicket when he thought he had Faf du Plessis caught behind. Billy Bowden said du Plessis had not edged behind and Pakistan reviewed. Without much of a sound and no clear mark on the Hotspot (although many from the Twitter-verse claimed to have seen one) there was not enough evidence to overturn the decision. Later, AB de Villiers was also given not out off an Ajmal delivery that slid down the leg side. On review, the picture was completely unclear with the bat blurred and no Hotspot, perhaps displaying the problems the camera has in heat and brightness as not even the contact with the pad was picked up.
Bowling change of the day
Misbah's decisions paid off almost every time but the one that was most telling was bringing Junaid Khan back with the old ball in the final session. Although it was more luck and lack of awareness that brought the wicket - that of du Plessis bowled by a ball that rolled back onto his stumps - it opened the door for Pakistan to run through the tail and they did.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondentFeeds: Firdose Moonda
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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A collection of fine cricket writing on great cricket feats, and never mind the omissions
Plays of the Day from the first ODI between South Africa and India in Johannesburg