SA vs New Zealand: Plays of the day

2013-01-12 10:57

Mishit of the day

When it comes to home grounds, Durban is known as the spookiest of them all with the likes of Jonty Rhodes and Hashim Amla not getting the big scores that make Jacques Kallis such a giant at Newlands.

There was an opportunity beckoning for Alviro Petersen, playing in his first Test in his ancestral home of Port Elizabeth.

After a fluent start which started to border on Caribbean swag, he top-edged a lame hook to Jeetan Patel at fine-leg off Doug Bracewell. What started so promisingly ended so disappointingly.

South African connection of the day

During a belligerent 54, Graeme Smith threatened to take the game away from New Zealand. He punched some delicate offside boundaries not normally associated with his awkward and brutal style of batsmanship.

If there was ever a bowler who could get him out, it had to be Affies old-boy Neil Wagner, whose accuracy and spirit never wavered, despite the first session being owned by South Africa.

He produced one that strangled Smith down the legside and it was none other than BJ Watling who snaffled the catch. It takes South Africans to get a South African out.

Drop of the day

Hashim Amla has earned his reputation as the most prized wicket in world cricket with his exploits overseas. He hasn’t reproduced them at home with the same regularity, but his is the one a team would like to see the back of very quickly.

Brendon McCullum should have pouched a sharp chance when Amla was on 48, but grassed him at gully. It was one moment where the rubber mitts could have been very handy. Amla proceeded to Test century number 19.

Throw of the day

If there is one apparent chink in Amla’s game, it is his running between the wickets. His mountain-piling often overshadows that but his end is always targeted. At this instance he responded to a well judged single from AB de Villiers.

He was safe in his ground when a stray throw from Dean Brownlie struck him on the inside of his right elbow, the funny bone. It was not funny when Amla needed medical help, but such is Amla’s demeanour – his facial expression showed no pain.

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