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Feature

Abbott's pain is Smith's gain

The return of the streaker, the french-cut and the Morne fluctuations in the plays of the day from Sydney

Security personnel tackle a streaker, Australia v South Africa, 5th ODI, Sydney, November 23, 2014

Halfway through his sprint, the streaker was tackled by the security  •  Getty Images

The French cut
Mitchell Starc can occasionally take a ball or three to calibrate his radar, so when his first ball of the day from the Randwick End arrowed in straight, full and true towards the stumps, Quinton de Kock was caught somewhat by surprise. For an instant it seemed the opener would be bowled, but a late bat resulted in an inside edge squeezed past leg stump. Starc could not believe his poor luck, but de Kock made the most of his good fortune, going on to a century.
The streaker
Heavy fines and heavier retribution by ground security have deterred many a potential streaker in recent years, but at the start of the 27th over of Australia's chase one man could contain himself no longer. Where once such invaders took delight in straddling the stumps or giving the runaround to their pursuers, this one made it only halfway from the boundary to the fielding circle before being set upon. It was an impressive tackle by security, who then sat on their quarry until a towel was found to preserve some trace of modesty.
The no-ball
When Steven Smith dragged Kyle Abbott onto the stumps at the start of the 34th over, South African hope sprang from what to that point had been a quite underwhelming defence of their tally. They need not have bothered - an umpire's check on Abbott's front foot revealed not only a no-ball but a major one, the front foot landing comfortably clear of the crease.
The Morne
Unplayable in the second ODI in Perth but dropped for the fourth in Melbourne, Morne Morkel's series has oscillated wildly. There was to be a consistency of misadventure in Sydney however, as he did Smith a favour in consecutive overs. First, a good length ball that Smith swung hard at but appeared to miss did not raise anything so much as an appeal from the South Africans - HotSpot revealed a substantial edge. Then next over, Smith sliced an Abbott delivery towards third man, where Morkel loped around, seeming to have the ball covered, then let it bobble through his hands to the boundary.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig