South Africa v Pakistan, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 2nd day February 2, 2013

Warning signs and mixed signals

Plays of the Day from the second day of the first Test between South Africa and Pakistan at the Wanderers

Warning of the day
Pakistan ended the first day satisfied with their performance but knowing that a solid start on the second morning would be crucial. If they thought they could have it all their way, they were made to revise that opinion in the second over. Dale Steyn set up Mohammed Hafeez with a stunner that swerved away after pitching slightly short on middle. The next ball was fuller, with just as much movement and Hafeez couldn't help but nibble. He got a thin edge through to AB de Villiers to spark what became an almighty collapse.

Controversy of the day
Where there is DRS, there will be debate and another one was sparked today. When Jacques Kallis appealed against Misbah-ul-Haq in what he thought was a caught behind case, few were convinced. De Villiers did not even go up at first and merely tossed the ball to first slip. South Africa decided to review and, as it did yesterday against Faf du Plessis, the Hot Spot camera revealed only a tiny mark that disappeared in an instant. On the first day, that was deemed insufficient evidence to overturn the on-field not-out decision against du Plessis; on the second day, the opposite was the case. Misbah had to leave but he did so grudgingly while in the changing room Dav Whatmore, Pakistan's coach, held out his arms in disbelief.

Wasted wicket of the day
Perilously placed at 39 for 5, Pakistan could not afford to throw any opportunity away but Asad Shafiq did just that. When Vernon Philander was brought back for a second spell, he began loosely with a wide delivery that could so easily have been left alone. Shafiq reached for it as he tried to drive through the off side and got an edge through to de Villiers. With no referrals, he had to walk off. To make things worse, two balls later Umar Gul did exactly the same thing.

Number of the day
The South African attack have made a habit out of bowling teams out for under 50. First, they skittled Australia for 47 at Newlands, then New Zealand for 45 at the same venue and now Pakistan for 49 at the Wanderers. At 40 for 7 at lunch time, Pakistan still had ambitions of avoiding the same fate, but Steyn's three wickets in three overs after the break changed that. The swing king made sure Pakistan got one less run than Kallis did on the first day.

Shot of the day
At first glance, it would seem there weren't too many, especially not from Pakistan, but South Africa's batsmen put on a much more measured display. De Villiers played a stroke to marvel at when he danced down the track to Saeed Ajmal, who did not cause as much trouble as was expected, and bisected Hashim Amla's legs with a straight drive that had the poise of a ballerina and the posture of one too. That stroke took South Africa to 122 for 3 and the lead to 326.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Harmon on February 3, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    I am afariad most of the ppl here who are pro-DRS seem to be having some diff. in grasping the diff between howlers & marginal ones and keep repeating their arguments all the time and sometimes add the Embrace-Technology argument to sound more cool. I have seen this in the past too - ask these ppl to talk about DRS per se and not about BCCI vs Technology then they have few answers to talk about DRS. Will the pro-DRS ppl show me a peer reviewed study of the components of DRS or should we simply believe the manufacturer who would be primarily looking to recover his costs and may inflate his accuracy figures? Will the pro-DRS ppl show me a time & place when DRS was discussed exhaustively by ICC members before they said yes to DRS? As for live usage, it beats me how can ppl STILL be pro-DRS after they've seen DRS behav like this.

    DG & I are saying - Why DRS when it is so exp yet fails on marginal ones and when for howlers we can use slo-mo+common sense.

    May be DRS due to 0 common sense.

  • Srinivas on February 3, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    @Meety, you know it and I know it. I'm not against technology. But I'm against the 'technologies' that form the amusing core of DRS - hot-spot and tracker. ICC needs to answer this: What made them push the entire scenario of LBWs into DRS? What stopped them from using slo-mos for huge inside edge LBWs? Why did they do that? It all feels fishy. Who benefitted undeservingly with such scenarios? Surely the companies who designed these 'technologies'! BTW, on a sidenote, we don't have to get everything correct everytime. From where and when did we start thinking on such bickering lines? Can't we be grown-ups and play cricket and watch cricket instead of bickering that we got a bad decision? We all have accepted uncertainity in cricket from bowlers to batsmen to fielders. Why are we so pre-occupied all of a sudden with umpires getting it right everytime? I shall pull-up umpires only for howlers but not for tough calls. Where's the gentleman's game gone that treats umpires with respect?

  • Srinivas on February 3, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    My main concern is this - let's not buy this lame argument that DRS is there anyways only to eliminate howlers and that DRS is anyways not for marginals. I don't think we need to go in circles. Technology is welcomed. No questions about that. Hot-spot is a big no no. Tracker is a cracker of a joke. When I say 'technologies' of DRS - I mean those two. Who would say no if we want to invoke slo-mos for huge inside edge LBWs? The bigger question is why didn't they start it yet and tried to push the entire scenario of LBWs into this thingy called DRS? Call it DRS or referral to the third umpire or whatever - just bring the slo-mos for huge inside edge LBWs.

    @clarke501, remove Mark Nicholas and put that SKY mob instead, Nasser and all. Point is the same. Prescribing left, right and center that DRS 'technologies' are dis and dat. And then Mark Nicholas' article was an icing on the cake - "DRS should be used only to keep howlers but not for perfection regarding marginal calls". Seriously?

  • shakil on February 3, 2013, 1:48 GMT

    ICC should take action against third umpire for wrong use of DRS Technology against pakistan team

  • Andrew on February 3, 2013, 0:25 GMT

    @mahjut on (February 02 2013, 22:15 PM GMT) - once the technology is mandatory across all Tests/ODIs/T20s (even maybe domestically), the cost will quickly be more affordable, nature of a product cycle.

  • Andrew on February 3, 2013, 0:23 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas_Statchin_Selfishkar - it is not "stupid" to think that UDRS was brought in to reverse howlers. There have been many incidents in the past where umpire errors (blatant mistakes) have swung matches. The problem we have is, the UDRS is not being implemented correctly. It is clear that in most instances, even the players don't know for sure what is a "good" decision & what is a "bad" decision. IMO - ultimately, UDRS should be in the hands of the 3rd Umpire & in SOME instances referred by the on-field umpire, (the umpire should make an initial decision & then refer). Technology is ultimately here to stay, you can bury your head in the sand, but atm there is only teething issues, not technological issues. The technology will (is) becoming better & once the BCCI join the 21st century, the technology will become more cost effective too.

  • Cricinfouser on February 2, 2013, 23:25 GMT

    @Dravid Gravitas - I'm not saying replays changed 'howlers' in the past. Replays did however change perceptions and it was then inevitable that technology would be introduced in some form. Perhaps if you took the trouble to read my responses properly, you'll see that I never mentioned Mark Nicholas (this bizarre obsession fortunately appears unique to you), nor have I actually said that all is right with DRS. There is certainly sense in reviewing the various tools behind it and cutting out the less reliable bits, say Hot Spot and the predicted path. You see 'people like me' can't be pigeonholed as pro or anti DRS and don't blindly accept misleading arguments from the person who shouts loudest. Try it some time.

  • Srinivas on February 2, 2013, 23:03 GMT

    @theCricketPurist, you don't need the contents of the 'technology' that are used in DRS to correct glaring errors. Do you? Glaring errors are somethings that are obvious or should be obvious to the naked-eye and or slo-mos. Why the colorful baggage called trackers and hot-spots for glaring errors? Huge inside edge LBW is one such glaring error. You don't need hot-spots there. Do you? By definition, huge inside edge LBW is a howler and it should be clear to any sane mind that we don't need DRS 'technology' contents to decide on that. Yes, of course bring it on, the DRS I mean, in non-hot-spot, non-tracker version. I'll be the first one to oppose BCCI, if they oppose to such a re-arrangement in DRS. As it stands, DRS is a sham, a scam and a crying shame. We have seen many such scams by now, in the name of naivette vs knowledgeable.

  • mahjut on February 2, 2013, 22:50 GMT

    For the record ... The 3rd Umpire made a mistake with Faf yesterday and from what i saw (on a smartphone screen - to be fair), he made a mess of AB today! i am sure of that because the 'technology' says so. So, the DRS needs some work; but it is work on skill/confidence levels of the 3rd Ump - not necessarily any tweaking of the technology itself.