Ian Craig never played an ODI, but his standing as one of Australian cricket's most respected figures was underlined by a moment's silence at Manuka Oval. Craig died on Sunday after battling cancer, aged 79. During the observance, both teams had time to ponder Craig's debut for New South Wales at 16, for Australia at 17 and captaincy of his nation at 21. It probably left them wondering how much they had achieved so far, and how much they had left to give.
Dale Steyn had complimented Farhaan Behardien on how hard he was working to be a viable fifth bowling option for South Africa, at a time when the batsman and sometime-bowler JP Duminy's fitness for the World Cup next year is clouded by knee surgery. It may be slightly early, but Behardien may now be able to claim Shane Watson as his first international bunny. For the second match in a row, Watson miscalculated a swing at Behardien's slow mediums, this time finding David Miller in the deep.
Steven Smith gathered momentum steadily through the back end of Australia's innings, before exploding with a starburst of strokes in the closing overs. The best of these came from a free hit offered up in the 50th over by Morne Morkel, who had already overstepped once before. This no-ball had the added vinegar of being caught, by a nonchalantly diving Faf du Plessis at wide long-on. Morkel then produced a decent enough yorker angling in towards leg stump, but Smith's riposte was a wonderfully nimble flick, almost through his own legs, to the vacant backward square leg boundary. It was a moment of rare class.
Though he did not sustain it, AB de Villiers still provided a reminder of his outrageous talent by putting on the afterburners midway through South Africa's innings. Watson was carted for a six and two fours, then Mitchell Marsh cracked for a hat-trick of boundaries. The first of these was a leading edge to third man, but given de Villiers' recent record against Australia, Marsh might have been forgiven for thinking that this too was a deliberate stroke.