South Africa v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Centurion, 3rd day February 24, 2013

It ain't over till it's over

Plays of the Day from the third day of the third Test between South Africa and Pakistan in Centurion

Crowd participation of the day
Graeme Smith named SuperSport Park as one of the venues where the team always expects good support and they were not let down today. Although not full, there was a sizeable crowd in, who all wanted to be seen and heard. Throughout the morning session, those in one half of the grandstand repeatedly called out to fielders to "give them a wave." They began with Smith, who obliged, moved on to AB de Villiers, who followed suit and Alviro Petersen, who gave them double their money's worth to a double wave. By the time they got to Dean Elgar in the gully, the bowler was running in and Elgar could not respond, leaving them quite dissatisfied with his lack of enthusiasm.

Redemption of the day
But Elgar had ample time to make up for it when he was placed at third man in the dying passages of the match. He gave many waves before Sarfraz Ahmed slashed the ball his way. Elgar had to run backwards to judge the catch but managed to take it and stop himself from going over the boundary. Many cheers, waves and songs were enjoyed after that.

Crack of the day
South Africa expected the Centurion surface to break up on the third day and the cracks were evident early on. They become even more noticeable when Vernon Philander got the ball to spit out of one of them in the over before lunch. After landing on a good length outside the off stump, the ball kicked up and swerved towards first slip, leaving Azhar Ali wide-eyed. The television compass showed it had moved five degrees.

Throw of the day
Taking on a fielder's arm is dangerous on any cricket field in the modern age and taking on a South African's arm perhaps more so. Known for their precision, South Africa are one of the sides that make run saving as important as any other department of their game, and today, Dale Steyn showed why. Imran Farhat and Azhar had constructed a solid, albeit slow, stand and it was evident they were in no rush. Against the run of play, both decided on a second run in the second over after lunch but Farhat quickly realised Dale Steyn's arm would beat them there. He sent Azhar back who had about two metres to get back when the throw came in - flat, straight and strong - and de Villiers broke the stumps.

Appeal of the day
Kyle Abbott learnt a fair bit about appealing in the first innings and it showed in the second. Convinced that Farhat had hit the first ball of his second spell, Abbott was in full song as he tried to convince Billy Bowden. De Villiers, Smith and Petersen soon joined the chorus and after what seemed the length of an entire album of singing, Bowden raised the crooked finger.

Premature end of the day
South Africa were frustrated by Pakistan's tail and the last pair proved particularly pesky as neither Steyn nor Abbott could conjure up a yorker to remove them. After 5.3 overs of the partnership, Steyn thought he had broken through when Steve Davis gave Rahat Ali out caught at short leg. Rahat reviewed immediately and replays showed his bat had not touched the ball. Rahat survived and South Africa had to keep bowling, much to the irritation of one of the crowd, who saw it as an opportunity to storm the field and needed five security officials to remove him.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Manesh on February 25, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    It shows how much the difference between NO:1 team and a NO:5 team.Even BD can do better batting than this with their slogging.

  • m on February 24, 2013, 20:50 GMT

    Premature end of the day .....steve davis how many times he gave out when Pak batting and how many times he gave not out when Pak bowling ... i lost count ...every time it happned i just laughed and so did the Pak team as they knew what is going on and has been and will for some time to come .... dont believe me watch the games Pak players no longer even get angry when UMPIRE make a BULDER against them they just laugh as say i kew that there is not need to be upset .. as i m not from this result ......i will love to see phalinder and co in UAE

  • Suraj on February 24, 2013, 19:59 GMT

    Congratulation South Africa and Graeme Smith.All the Best Pakistan for Limited Overs Fixture... Reasons for the 3-0 whitewash: 1) SAs strength - number 1 in the world 2) Conditions - alien, most have never played here 3) Preparation - inadequate to give them a realistic chance 4) Scheduling - last played in July 5) Injuries - Taufeeq and Junaid 6) Lack of coaching stability since beating England, both head coach and otherwise 7) Lack of prioritizing the test game, PSL and revival of bilateral ties higher on agenda 8- Lack of potency in the seam bowling - distinct lack of quality 9) Selection - Ignoring Adnan was an obvious blunder and refusing to play Rehman 10) Not being pro-active, especially after the 1st defeat such as continuing to open with an all at sea Mohammad Hafeez and not shuffling the batting order...

  • Dummy4 on February 24, 2013, 19:46 GMT

    Two suggestions...Steve Davis umpiring was as poor as Pakistani batman's performance in this series so ICC must look into this. Secondly I don't like this umpire's call thing is fair.When we are using DRS and if the ball is hitting/ brushing/ shaving the stump it must be given out..and should not be umpire's call as Ajmal was denied many wickets because of this...or because of Steve Davis.

  • Bohurupi on February 24, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    Well done SA! Kudos to you guys for total annihilation of the Pak test team! A big learning curve for Pak team ahead. Should either retrain their top order on "how to bat in fast pitches" or slash them off and rebuild the team with fresh blood. If Pakistan want to play international matches in their backyard, they must perform at all levels. This series is so devastating for Pak fans that the wounds and scars would take a long time before they heal, if they would ever heal. Wondering what Dave Whatmore had offered to the team? Probably nothing! The way Pak team was rebuilding themselves under Waqar Younus appears to have had their best time under the best coach only for some mysterious events taking that apart. its time to overhaul Pak cricket infrastructure!

  • Tony on February 24, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    How does a bowler take 20 wickets in a series at an average of 12, and still not make man of the series? AB was sublime as well as Big Vern, but the true difference in these sides was the bowling, and Steyn in particular. Mind you, Pakistan would have been happy this series with a bowling lineup of Morkel/deLange/Tsotsobe/Kallis to counter Steyn/Philander/Abbott/Kleinveld.

  • Balaji on February 24, 2013, 16:34 GMT

    Well done SA, but I was disappointed with Pakistan. I thought they were in for the long haul at lunch but when I watched some time later they were 6 down. The one man I feel sorry for in this Pakistan line-up is Ajmal. Took wickets in the first 2 tests, and provided some useful resistance down the order here. How much more can he do. I agree with Khurram S CChaudhry that SA can win in Asia.

  • des on February 24, 2013, 16:34 GMT

    Abbott had a great debut, but I think it was one of those games where everything worked for him (except #10!). He's decent, like a slightly more skilful Kleinveldt, but I don't think either of them have that extra 10% which makes Philander, Steyn and Morkel such a good attack. Steyn has pace and swing, Vern great control over swing and seam, Morkel pace and bounce. Kleinveldt and Abbott can do a job if the others are injured, but if Abbott plays in place of Vern or Kleinveldt in place of Morkel then the team is not quite as good.

    If someone like De Lange comes in for Morkel then the team could be even better as he has even more pace. So for that reason I'd like to see more of what De Lange, Gqamane and Morris can do, instead of us just using Kleinveldt and Abbott as reserves now.

  • Dummy4 on February 24, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    Excellent performance by South Africa, which was expected of them and they showed the world why they are number one Test side in the world. As for Pakistan, it was a pathetic show as it was expected. After all, this team was full of pawaa's so why expect anything other than what we saw. It is sad day for pakistan's fans today.

  • shiva on February 24, 2013, 15:52 GMT

    I prediced the result even before the seris started .

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