SA vs New Zealand: Plays of the day
Khanyiso Tshwaku’s selection of quirky events on day two of the second test at St George’s Park
Drop of the day
Coaches always bleat about dropped catches costing matches and New Zealand know all about dropped catches, with Kane Williamson’s drop of Hashim Amla costing 62 runs and costly momentum that led to South Africa’s mammoth total.
With his bucket hands, Jacques Kallis put down a regulation chance off Dale Steyn, giving serial nicker Martin Guptill a life. It’s a pity he couldn’t make the most of it, with Steyn snaring him in his next over.
Embrace of the day
Dean Elgar had a tough time of it and his debut innings in Test cricket won’t be forgotten very soon.
His cut-and-drive filled maiden Test century will have gone a long way in easing the pain of his pair in Australia.
One person who’ll understand the pain the most, Allan Donald, gave him the warmest of hugs when the Proteas went onto field.
There was a touch of happiness and relief about it.
On his Test debut, Donald managed a pair against the fearsome West Indian pace attack in South Africa’s first Test back from isolation. Donald wasn’t much of a batsman but the moral support does help.
Ball of the day 1
Faf du Plessis had a serene march to his chanceless century, but New Zealand had the better of the first session when they plugged the runs and got Hashim Amla’s wicket as a reward.
The hostilities did not end there with Doug Bracewell serving up a delivery that would not have made Du Plessis’ fiancée very happy.
He bowled one of his stock short of length deliveries outside the off stump line and struck Du Plessis amidships.
It left Du Plessis gasping for air and out for the count. He brushed off the little pain between his legs and went on to his second century.
Ball of the day 2
Dean Brownlie’s excellent century temporarily stalled South Africa’s march to victory in the first Test and it had taken a well-thought-out plan to dislodge him.
Rory Kleinveldt watched much of the Test match from the comfort of the dressing room and studied Brownlie’s troubles with getting onto the front foot.
After all, the majority of his runs came off the back foot and were scored behind square on the offside.
Kleinveldt produced a spiteful delivery that caught Brownlie in no man’s land. It brushed his glove and AB de Villiers snaffled the easy catch.
Near miss of the day
The vibe at St George’s Park bordered on festive, with the band and the fans revelling in the bath of its first Test in six years.
It also provided Robin Peterson, who made his debut nearly 10 years ago in far-away Bangladesh, a chance to prove he was not as spooked as Alviro Petersen.
Brendon McCullum’s eyes lit up at the sight of Peterson but he perished when his swipe found Jacques Kallis at first slip.
There was twice the delirium when the next ball saw Colin Munro tickle one around the corner, only to find Dean Elgar waiting.
His hat-trick ball to Doug Bracewell enticed him forward, but there was too much spin on it for it to brush the outside edge.
On a summer’s day, it was a lovely carnival of cricket.