South Africa v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Cape Town, 1st day January 3, 2012

Kallis bounces back as Petersen takes his chance

ESPNcricinfo presents Plays of the Day from the first day of the third Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka in Cape Town

"I'm back" shot of the day
Alviro Petersen probably always knew that he deserved his place back and most of the South African public were convinced of that too when he was recalled but there must have been a small nagging feeling when he went out to bat. After Jacques Rudolph failed to translate over 1,500 first-class runs in the last two seasons into any convincing international form, Petersen knew the pressure would be on him to mirror his recent domestic form. With Sri Lankan openers offering gifts, Petersen had few problems settling in and in the 11th over he pulled a Dhammika Prasad short ball over square leg for six. It was a well-judged and well-placed shot and one of such supreme confidence, it was clear that he was well and truly back.

Life-line of the day
Jacques Kallis had a miserable time in his previous three innings against Sri Lanka and in the last Test notched up a first of the most unpleasant variety. After 149 Test matches, Kallis was dismissed for his first pair. Graeme Smith said Kallis was the subject of the team's jokes for the past five days and that he would be desperate to shut them up. His innings stared scratchily and he was on just one when he pulled Prasad in the air and should have been caught in the deep. Chanaka Welegedara did not move an inch and caught the ball on the bounce, claiming he lost it in the crowd. It was a mistake Sri Lanka were made to pay dearly for.

Near run-outs of the day
Kallis and Petersen were both so anxious to get each other to hundreds they almost ran themselves out trying to do it. By the fourth ball of Kallis being stuck on 99, Petersen had had enough and when Kallis nudged to mid-off, Petersen charged halfway down the pitch before Kallis turned him down and he had to hussle back. Replays showed that a direct-hit would have seen Petersen run all the way back to the changing room. After tea, with Petersen stuck on 99 for six balls, Kallis wanted to race through and was victim of a direct hit. Replays showed he had just made it back and Petersen had to wait another over to bring up his milestone.

Number of the day
Undoubtedly, it's 150. In his 150th Test match, Jacques Kallis brought up 150 of the best. Although he started hesitantly, Kallis was soon into his stride at Newlands and it turned out to be a graceful, elegant knock which turned around Kallis' home season. His landmark came up with a soft tickle to the sweeper at deep cover, allowing enough time for Kallis to run two. The significance of the achievement was written all over his face. With raised arms and the usual glance at the sky - a gesture for his late father - Kallis beamed at every part of the Newlands ground. He did the full 360, acknowledging his home crowd, who saluted him.

Recognition of the day
Western Province Cricket Association turned 120 in 2011 and used the New Year's Test to launch The Blue Book: A history of Western Province Cricket. The book was written by Western Province chief executive Andrew Odendaal, cricket historian Krish Reddy and statistician Andrew Samson and pays homage to cricketers of the province - including 500 who were previously unrecognised and 250 matches of which there was no official record. In attendance were 150 past and present players, from both the Association (previously advantaged) and Board (previously disadvantaged) sides of the union. They attended a special assembly on the field at lunch time and were treated to a function at the close.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent