South Africa v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Durban, 4th day December 29, 2011

Kallis bags pair as South Africa blow out

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

Discarded Milestone of the day
The last time Dale Steyn went wicketless in a complete innings was in 2008, in the second innings against Bangladesh in Centurion. On that occasion, he did not have the opportunity to make up for it but this time he did. After taking Sri Lanka's first wicket, late on day two, waiting almost 40 overs for a second and 17 more for a third, he wasted no time on the fourth morning to snap up two more. He benefitted from Thisara Perera's reckless drive which saw the all-rounder caught at second slip and then cramped up Chanaka Welegedara to take his fifth. The haul was Steyn's 17th five-for in Tests.

Disbelief of the day
The sweep shot has not served South Africa well in this match and it ended Jacques Kallis' innings after just four balls. Kallis' top-edge brushed his helmet and was pouched safely by Tharanga Paranavitana at short leg. Sri Lanka knew it was out but Steve Davis was not convinced and Tillakaratne Dilshan had to review the decision to send Kallis packing. Perhaps Kallis thought that because he had been hit on the helmet it would be called dead ball and he would survive. Or perhaps he simply wanted to avoid recording the first pair of his Test career of 148 matches.

Mix-up of the day
The post-lunch session has, so far, been what Gary Kirsten would call South Africa's "blow-out session" in which they've lost their way. This time it was the period where they lost five wickets, the worst of which came with a needless run-out. Hashim Amla pushed a Rangana Herath delivery down the ground and called Ashwell Prince through for what would have been a risky run. Prince refused and even turned his back on his partner by which point Amla was already three-quarters of the way down the pitch. Amla had just reached his half-century but had to bury the dream of scoring a Test hundred at his home ground and had to return to the changing room facing a hefty defeat.

Camaraderie of the day
Steyn was determined to make the most of his batting outing and when he was fed a flighted ball by Herath in dying light, he decided to try and smash it straight down the ground. He ended up drilling the ball into his batting partner Morne Morkel's thigh pad as Morkel attempted to leap out of the way. Morkel fell over comically and Steyn went over to check on his new-ball partner. The two had a good giggle but couldn't take South Africa to the close.

Rumour of the day
While the cricket wound along to an inevitable, albeit somewhat drawn out, conclusion, the rumour mill was furiously working. The story that circulated was that Graeme Smith would resign the captaincy on the back end of an embarrassing Kingsmead defeat. What started as a seed soon grew into a fully fledged baobab tree and a popular South African news website even carried the gossip as as their second lead story. For now, it remains nothing more than whispers in the wind. "As long as Gary and the team want me in the job, I will do the job," Smith said, quashing the rumours. "When you lose in the manner we have, those things circulate. I think that one was a bit too much."

Joy of the day
2011 has a been a year for history and Sri Lanka claimed a piece of it as well. When AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn were fronting up, it seemed unlikely that Sri Lanka's first victory on South African soil would come today but when both were dismissed it became reality. Herath tossed one up, Marchant de Lange had no clue and tried the slog only to be bowled. Herath turned around, grabbed the off and leg stump at the non-strikers end and let out a shriek of delight. At the other end, his team-mates were pulling out their own stumps and soon gathered in a huddle to leap and laugh like schoolchildren, celebrating a richly-deserved, emphatic win.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 1, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    there w eprove ourself. no player to b blamed for sure. cause perfect team effort let it b welagadara's 5for or thilan's 100 or sanga's century or mahela's fielding or chandi's twin 50s or rangana's bowling figures. Great !

  • Johnathon on December 30, 2011, 21:50 GMT

    calm down people. Subcontinent creates turning pitches while outside they create seaming pitches. But there is a bit of bias/unjustness. When there is an extreme turning pitch (like when Aus played in SL or the Mumbai match), the pitch is fined by ICC. But when there is an extreme swinging/seaming pitch, nothing happens (supersport park/and the Aus/SA match for 43 all out and 74 all out). Allow turning pitches to be made too and they are less dangerous than swinging ones

  • Dummy4 on December 30, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    LION POWERRRRRR :D I guess Good things come to those who wait

  • Dummy4 on December 30, 2011, 6:56 GMT

    Look forward to bushes on Cape town pitch !!

  • Dummy4 on December 30, 2011, 4:25 GMT

    @Sree 5-0? i'm talking about Test they've lost the last 5 away matches, @wrongun77 every country prepares a pitch to favour their attack but the one at supersort park was the greenest pitch even the south african commentators have seen in their life

  • Dummy4 on December 30, 2011, 2:03 GMT

    Well done, Sri Lanka. Any team that outplays the opposition the way they did deserves the victory and to feel proud of themselves. There is still one more Test, though, and we all saw how fortunes changed after the first. @nlambda: Kallis has proven through his career that he is a sporting player who respects the game. He has always walked in instances of dubious catches after asking the fielder and not waiting for replays. I don't know why he didn't walk today but I can only guess that, because he hit the ground quite hard at the same time as he top-edged he may not have felt the connection. I'm not sure how he thought the ball got on to his helmet, though. Anyway, Kallis's record speaks for itself and he doesn't need me defending him, just like your assertion can't tarnish his proven character.

  • Sinha on December 30, 2011, 1:01 GMT

    @Wrongun77, so what's wrong with SL preparing turning pitches? It's in the nature of the sub-continent's soil for pitches to turn, just like it's in the nature of South African soil to make for bouncy tracks.

  • Badar on December 29, 2011, 20:32 GMT

    Congrats to SL on making the history which they really deserved after a strong all round performance. They played better cricket than SA and richly deserved that victory which means so much to them and their supporters not only because this is their first ever Test win in SA but also because of the manner they were beaten in the 1st test and they re-grouped and fought back. This result shows that SL will eventually get back on the victory road in the post Murali era when critics had written them off and doubted their ability to bounce back. Herath is a quality bowler but unfortunately doesn't get the right attention he so rightly deserves. I am afraid SA will now abondon Durban as the 1st choice test center just the way they did to Port Elizabeth after their poor showing at that ground in the past. With the return of Philander, SA will have tough choice in the next test. Alviro must now replace Rudolph. SL should celebrate this win but must also get ready for the Cape. Good luck.

  • kalvin on December 29, 2011, 20:16 GMT

    @ Praveen you hope it's not a green carpet wicket for the next test? what type of wickets do sri lanka prepare? oh yeah i forgot those wickets don't do anything but turn.

  • Dummy4 on December 29, 2011, 20:07 GMT

    Hats off to our Lions ! Despite no pay, hefty series defeats and so much criticism they arose to close the year in style. These guys are truly amazing. Herath surely is ready to lead the bowling and youngsters Chandimal, Thissara and Mathews will be our pillars for future. Wish you a very successful 2012.

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