SA vs Pakistan: plays of the day

2013-02-15 09:03

As the Proteas’ Test against Pakistan heads into its second day, a wrap of the action on day 1.

Drop of the day 1

Faf du Plessis is one of South Africa’s best fielders, but even the best have their day where the reflexes fail them or the butterfinger sickness just creeps up on them.

Nasir Jamshed did not have the best of mornings and just could not find the fluency that characterised his second innings 46 at the Wanderers. He jangled his bat to a Vernon Philander delivery that moved away from him and it got a healthy edge.

Du Plessis shelled the easy chance at third slip, but Jamshed did not make the most of his let-off, edging to De Villiers the very next ball.

Drop of the day 2

Short leg often has its specialists for various reasons. The most famous one was the portly Australian, David Boon, who was not the most mobile of fielders.

It’s hard to find his ilk nowadays so the position is often given to the most junior member of the team, which in the Proteas’ case is Dean Elgar.

It is a position Hashim Amla has made his own and been accustomed to and when Elgar was caught with his weight going backwards, dropping Asad Shafiq in the process, it proved to be costly, with the 27-year-old marching to his first Test century against South Africa, adding 87 from when his life was gifted.

Shot of the day

There were many sparkling shots played by the excellent Younus Khan as he marched to the first test century by a Pakistan batsman since Taufeeq Umar’s 135 at the same ground against the same opponents 10 years ago.

Taufeeq’s effort was a gritty one in fighting what was to be a losing battle after the hosts racked up a massive first innings total. Younus’s was a rearguard one, but his delightful pull over midwicket for six off Robin Peterson was a thing of beauty. Fast hands, fast feet and supple wrists and suddenly a decent ball was made to look worse than it was. It raised his 50.

Milestone of the day 1

Because of isolation, South African test grounds still have a lot of catching up to do with their Australian and England counterparts.

Sydney and Melbourne Cricket Grounds have just recently passed the century mark with Lord’s leading the pack with 125. Newlands is not South Africa’s oldest test ground. That honour belongs to St George’s Park, but it played host to its 50th test.

Milestone of the day 2

Asad Shafiq made his day very special with his 3rd test century, his first against South Africa. It is a feat only achieved by 11 away batsmen since the 2009-10 season.

All the more special about it was that he, alongside New Zealander Dean Brownlie, are the only batsmen with fewer than 50 tests to have done so.

A milestone that went unannounced was the raising of his 1 000th test run, which coincided with his test 50.

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