South Africa v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Durban, 3rd day December 28, 2011

Morkel's misfortune, and an exchange lost in translation

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

Misfortune of the day
Morne Morkel should have had a wicket with his fourth ball of the morning when he induced Kumar Sangakkara to drive. A healthy outside edge found its way to Graeme Smith at first slip who waited for Mark Boucher to dive to his right and attempt to grasp it from out of his range. The result was the two senior men looking at each other in horror as the ball went between them. Morkel was distraught and Sangakkara went on to score a fluent 108, which could well take the match out of South Africa's hands.

Shot of the day
Sangakkara made the most of his lifeline and played a series of sublime strokes, none more majestic than the upper cut off Marchant de Lange. He tried to butter Sangakkara up with a few short balls but then offered him too much width. Sangakkara accepted by stepping onto his tippy toes, arching his back and slapping the ball over the slip caudon, who could only watch and admire.

Breakthrough of the day
Sri Lanka went about their business of building a sizeable lead in fairly quiet fashion. Sangakkara and Thilan Samaraweera had put on 94 runs together and both looked in control when Imran Tahir ended their stand. He slipped in a slider, which deceived Samaraweera - usually a confident and competent player of spin - and snuck off the inside edge onto his stumps. Tahir's manic charge around the field that normally follows a wicket became a more subdued run towards Mark Boucher as short-lived relief passed through the South African camp.

Words of the day
When Sri Lanka's lead crossed the 400 mark and South Africa's weary attack looked no closer to taking a wicket, one would have thought they would have had nothing to say. But Dale Steyn had something to get off his chest and he let Dinesh Chandimal know in the same over the young wicketkeeper had taken a boundary off him courtesy of AB de Villiers' overthrows. Steyn bowled a few short balls and gave Chandimal a verbal working over. It turns out it may all have been wasted because Chandimal doesn't speak much English.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ramzi on December 29, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    Im very sad to see people talking all nonsnce abt the sanga s ability in fast they never talk da ability of kallis playing spinners.becose he nvr scored 100 vs Sri lanka.respct the guys who did soo much 4 world cricket.any way v should thanx to KW to boost the moral of sri lankans. Mr wessles Sri lankans do talk in playing feild nt like south africans whm nly talking outside da playing feild, evn without won a Single world cup or evn nt going to world cup final.

  • Rukshan on December 29, 2011, 4:48 GMT

    now the pressure is building on parnanavithana and mathewws they will have to work to keep their places.This test will ensure dilshan's captaincy(though he is not a good captain but improving little bit). I like to see both upul tharnga and bhanuka rajapakshe in the test team.

  • Dummy4 on December 29, 2011, 4:35 GMT

    It turns out it may all have been wasted because Chandimal doesn't speak much English. ha..haaa..Joke of the day..

  • kosala on December 28, 2011, 22:51 GMT

    I hope no none of these will make forget how great and almost impossible innings was Samaraweers. he just did something almost unbelievable .Good luck him and hope things will get bette with SL team. Sanga, Great innings , we looking forward one form Mahela soon.Best luck with the match.

  • Dummy4 on December 28, 2011, 21:52 GMT

    @Retish - Dont lie..Sanga averages 65 in Australia & 54 in New Zealand..Since giving up wkt keeping his average is 70+ for 6 years ! he is arguably the best Test batsman in modern era

  • Martin on December 28, 2011, 21:48 GMT

    Anon at 17.01. Absolute nonsense. Even in the same match there's a batsman with a higher average than Sangakkara - Kallis. If you look at all Test batsmen who have scored more than 1000 runs he is only 16th on the list. He quite rightly comes behind such greats as Headley, Pollock, Sobers and Hobbs.

  • manjula on December 28, 2011, 20:55 GMT

    Well...well.... table has turned. Kepler said in his commentary on the first day of the second test that SL batting has serious issues ... Also, don't forget Samaraweera ... he has done lot in the first and second innings of the second test.

  • Bhagya on December 28, 2011, 18:42 GMT

    @ Praveen Shavindra Muthuthanthri::Completely agree mate.Hats Off To Sanga.

  • Dummy4 on December 28, 2011, 18:28 GMT

    There will be a competition between P. Jayawardene and Chandimal to take spot in SL. Both f thm is grt but I'm going to Chandimal????

  • Dummy4 on December 28, 2011, 18:18 GMT

    Mahela and Sanga both average less than 35 in tests in england,australia and south africa

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