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ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the fourth day of the second Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka at Durban
Firdose Moonda at Kingsmead
December 29, 2011
Report : Herath spins Sri Lanka to famous win
Players/Officials: AB de Villiers | Tillakaratne Dilshan | Rangana Herath | Jacques Kallis | Gary Kirsten | Morne Morkel | Tharanga Paranavitana | Thisara Perera | Ashwell Prince | Graeme Smith | Chanaka Welegedara
Matches: South Africa v Sri Lanka at Durban
Series/Tournaments: Sri Lanka tour of South Africa
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.
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