South Africa v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Centurion, 2nd day December 27, 2011

Spice the tonic for Sri Lanka

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the second day of the second Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka in Durban

Woe of the day
Some people just keep putting their foot in their mouth but Morne Morkel keeps putting his in another, equally bothersome, place - over the line. After being brought on in the fourth over of the morning, to make use of a newish ball with Dale Steyn, Morkel could have made the breakthrough early on. Rangana Herath pulled a delivery from outside the offstump straight up in the air, offering Morkel what should have been his third wicket. As is customary in this series, the umpires checked for the no-ball and Morkel had overstepped the line by a fair distance and Herath lived on to bring up a spunky 30. Morkel had a better outing than in the previous two Tests, having been given the new ball, but his problems appear no closer to being solved.

Wicket of the day
Marchant de Lange became the eighth debutant to take a five-for this year when Herath top-edged a pull to Mark Boucher but he went one better than that seven balls later. After removing Chanaka Welegedara with an awkwardly rising ball that the left-hander fended to Hashim Amla at short leg, de Lange ended Sri Lanka's innings to notch up the best bowling figures by a debutant this year. Thilan Samaraweera was tiring after his century and responded to the full ball by holing out to deep cover. De Lange's 7 for 82 put him above R Ashwin, Doug Bracewell, James Pattinson, Vernon Philander, Patrick Cummins, Elias Sunny and Nathan Lyon, the other seven debutants who claimed five wickets in their first match in 2011.

Pouch of the day
The spicy chicken curry served at lunch seemed to fire up something in Sri Lanka's bellies as they came out after the interval breathing fire. They plucked three South African wickets for eight runs, the pick of them being the catch to dismiss Jacques Rudolph, who has still not managed a half-century since making his Test comeback. Rudolph said would try to be more selective but chose an atrocious shot to a short ball delivered on leg stump. He pulled and Chanaka Welegedara dived forward to scoop the chance in style.

Defiance of the day
With South Africa needing 15 runs to avoid the follow-on after a spectacular collapse, Dale Steyn got the bit between his teeth and showed the rest of the batsmen how to do it. When Herath fired in a flighted one, he got under it and heaved it over cow corner. It was the most forceful shot in a South African effort that wilted on a warm afternoon in Durban.

Cheers of the day
A steadfast Dale Steyn and determined Imran Tahir shared in a 26-run 10th wicket stand and the shot that defined their efforts came three balls before Tahir was stumped. Steyn, who played with the composure that the rest of the order lacked, played a neat shot off his pads behind square and called for two runs to take South Africa past the follow-on target. The Kingsmead crowd, who had dwindled from the 10,000 who attended day one, were at their loudest, cheering the run as though it was a century and egging the tail on.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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