South Africa v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Centurion, 2nd day December 16, 2011

The indomitable Kallis

ESPNCricinfo presents Plays of the Day from the second day at Centurion

The hero of the day
Jacques Kallis looked set for a stint in hospital after being hit on the side of his head by a Dilhara Fernando bouncer that kept low. Kallis ducked into the ball, which stuck him on the grill and after taking a few steps, crumpled to the ground in a heap. Sri Lanka's fielders were immediately at his side, as was the South African medical team, who had to mop blood from his ear. As soon as Kallis stood up, he stumbled and Mahela Jayawardene caught him by the arm to save him from slipping. For a few moments, it seemed he might have a concussion. But Kallis shook it off, put his helmet back on and, with the cheers of over 10,000 fans around him, continued to bat.

The edge of the day
Sri Lanka's bowlers found the edge ten times during the day but only four of them resulted in wickets. The one that they may regret the most came at the start of the 65th over, when Ashwell Prince pushed at a Welegedara delivery outside off. The ball went past a vacant third slip at catchable height and the resulting boundary put South Africa in the lead.

The after-thought of the day
Six overs before the new-ball was due, Dilhara Fernando was brought back on. He had a catch dropped by Thisara Perera at gully in his first over but continued to pepper the batsmen with a variety of short balls. In his fourth over, with the new-ball due, Fernando persisted with the short ball and was given the treatment by AB de Villiers twice. Mid-way through the over, Tillakaratne Dilshan seemed to remember that a new ball was available and called for it. Fernando started with a no-ball.

The reaction of the day
Angelo Matthews was convinced he had AB de Villiers caught behind, the over after dismissing Ashwell Prince. After a vociferous appeal from Matthews and the slip cordon, was turned down by umpire Rod Tucker, Sri Lanka asked for review. A lengthy replay process followed, during which Hotspot was shown numerous times. A faint mark appeared but then disappeared, and with the doubt created, de Villiers was given a lifeline. Sri Lanka spent the wait watching the replays on the big screen, pointing and gesturing throughout and their disbelief when the decision was upheld was evident. Matthews continued to look at screen as he walked back to his mark. On completion of the over, he trudged off the field.

The song of the day
A sure sign that the cricket is not exciting enough to hold the attention of a South African crowd is when they start singing. First, came the general la-la which accompanied the Mexican Wave, then a version of "Here we go [insert name of your choice]," and then the traditional "Ole, Ole." But, the song that made the day was the old miner's anthem, Shosholoza, which originated in neighbouring Zimbabwe. The Ndebele tune was sung by migrant miners on their way to work and referred to the movement of the train. Today it was sung as de Villiers appeared to close in on his hundred, before he was dismissed for 99.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent