South Africa v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Cape Town, 1st day February 14, 2013

Nicks and misses

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

Déjà vu of the day
Familiarity has become one of the South Africa attack's norms but not in the bland way the word suggests. With 75% of their wickets in the first Test at the Wanderers coming from edges, their discipline outside the off stump has become more dangerous than a barrage of bouncers and the Pakistan collapse began in exactly the same fashion. Nasir Jamshed's indecisiveness showed as he prodded at a Vernon Philander ball that moved away from him but Faf du Plessis put down a regulation chance in the gully. The next ball, Jamshed did the same thing to one that was slightly fuller and AB de Villiers collected. It was so routine, neither the bowler nor the keeper bothered to celebrate.

Ball of the day
Philander's art form is subtle seam movement and one of his masterpieces came two overs after lunch. The ball was perfect in every way, it pitched on off, it moved away, it wobbled like one of those soft toy machines that catches the stuffed bear and then holds it in the air for a few seconds before dumping it back on the heap, and it carried through to the wicketkeeper. It did everything right, except take the edge but it would have left Asad Shafiq in several minds about what to do should he receive another like that.

Drop of the day
Du Plessis' mistake cost South Africa nothing but Dean Elgar's at short leg did. Robin Peterson would have had a first wicket in the series when Shafiq glanced one to Elgar. It came off the middle of the bat and required quick movement from the fielder but it was a definite chance. Elgar did not respond fast enough and did not reach it in time. Shafiq was on 24 at the time and went on to record his third Test hundred as punishment.

Aggression of the day
Younis Khan played the patience game for most of the day and although he got frustrated and reached for a few, he quickly reminded himself of his main task and stuck to it. But he could not resist when Peterson offered a friendly half-tracker - and three times Younis decided his dancing shoes were not merely for show and came down the pitch to send the ball into the stands for six.

Run of the day
Younis brought up a hundred two overs before the new ball was due and wanted to allow Shafiq to do the same. With one over to go and Shafiq on 99, Younis did the big brotherly thing and attempted to get off strike from the first ball of Elgar's over so Shafiq would have the bulk of it. He hit the ball to mid-off and hurried through but when Philander misfielded, Younis chose to put the team first. He wanted the second run, Shafiq said 'no' but while Philander chased the ball almost to the boundary, Younis insisted they complete the brace. Shafiq reluctantly accepted and still managed to reach his hundred that over.

Guests of the day
A day at the cricket is a usually an opportunity to spot personalities and there were plenty at Newlands for the Valentine's Test. Robin Jackman, who is recovering from throat cancer enjoyed the morning session from the Member's Stand while the national Under-19 side were able to see the seniors in action from the comfort of a hospitality suite. The youngsters have been playing a series against England Under-19s, who did not make an appearance at Newlands.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments