After losing the PR battle following his no-show after the World Cup, Graeme Smith knew he had a lot to do to gain back trust. He has spent the latter part of the winter on a bit of a charm offensive, humbling himself before the media and admitting that he had work to do to improve his own form. Smith prepared with Claremont Cricket Club, and said he was ready for a new role in limited-overs cricket. As it turned out, he was not. The left-handed Doug Bollinger caused him trouble from ball two (because ball one was a wide) and after peppering him for five deliveries, bowled him off the inside edge. Smith flung his bat down in frustration.
Colin Ingram played an attractive and feisty knock, after South Africa's two early losses, but he flirted with danger once. After eight overs and one ball without sending the ball sailing over the boundary, Ingram took David Hussey on. He launched it down the ground, towards long-on and David Warner kept his eye on the ball and had the distance to take the catch, had he not already been over the rope. He jumped up, got fingertips to it and tried to knock the ball back in, but it had a bit too much power and the first six of the match had been hit.
Young Patrick Cummins was on a hat-trick and bowled a low, swinging full toss to Johan Botha. The former South Africa captain moved across a little and flicked him through deep square. Shaun Marsh, who was fielding on the boundary, slid straight past the ball and allowed it to bobble over the rope. The crowd sitting in that corner of the ground, closest to Table Mountain, had as big a jeer as they could but Cummins struck again before the over was finished.
Much of the build up before this match was about Warner and his back-to-back centuries in the Champions League. South Africa's bowlers were asked how they would deal with the power-hitting and aggression, but before they had the chance to think of any of that, Warner had been dismissed. Lonwabo Tsotsobe presented Warner with a short ball first up and he mistimed a pull to Morne Morkel at short fine leg. Morkel, who is not known for his grace in the field, got down well to collect, had enough to time to aim and fire at the stumps to send Warner on his way for a first-ball duck. Morkel had said South Africa would fight fire with fire when it came to Warner, but they put the flame out before it even lit up.
Cape Town provides one of the most picturesque backdrops for a cricket match. Few things are as beautiful as the sun setting over Table Mountain, with hues of orange, pink and purple splashing across the sky. But, there was something to rival that stunning shot on Thursday evening. Watson made the most of the final Powerplay over, first taking advantage of Rusty Theron's width, then his length and then came the class. With very little wrong with the last ball of Theron's first over, Watson played a velvety, straight drive, down the ground for four. It was a gorgeous shot of elegance and poise which purred along the outfield to the boundary.