Working over of the day
Unlike some of his team-mates, Dale Steyn is no childhood friend of Neil Wagner and it does not look as though he wants to be an adult chum of his either. After Wagner tried to scare Steyn with a few short balls and even hit him on the hand when he was batting on day two, Steyn meted out the same treatment but with better results. Five bouncers in a row in the mid-140s were hurled at Wagner, one of which was wide down the leg side and the message was clear. Then Steyn bowled a touch fuller, still back of a length and Wagner played outside the line and was struck on the pad. Even though Wagner was convinced he had edged, and a slight Hot Spot was visible, he was given out and stayed out.
Technique of the day
Jeetan Patel drew a few giggles the last time he batted because he took guard from what looked a mile outside leg stump. Brendon McCullum said he’d been working on his batting but it didn’t show. Patel was so scared of facing Steyn that he exposed his stumps again, first dancing outside off to try and hook and then almost running away from them to square leg as a ball came in on off stump, which was duly removed. Still some work to be done with the willow then.
Smash of the day
New Zealand’s line-up have not done too much damage in the series but Trent Boult made sure he made an impact on St George’s Park. As New Zealand’s last pairing of the first innings showed all the ones who had come before them how it should have been done, Boult charged Rory Kleinveldt and lofted him over long-on. The ball sailed into the main pavilion and crashed into the match office window where it met the public announcer and some of the officials of the stadium, including the media liaison lady, who almost got hit by it. Despite their positioning low behind the bowlers arm, the Port Elizabeth windows don’t get broken often but Boult left his mark.
Irritation of the day
McCullum has been dismissed by the “innocuous” Robin Peterson in three of his four innings in the series. The latest one left him particularly irritated with himself, as he missed a straight ball and was struck in front. McCullum was given out but reviewed in hope, although the ball-tracking only confirmed that the ball was clipping leg stump. McCullum was so annoyed at falling to Peterson again that he walked off waving his hand at the fielders in disgust.
Where’s my fielding position moment of the day?
At the start of the 51st over, Ryan McLaren came on for Dale Steyn but had no clue where he was supposed to go. He started off by running to the square leg umpire but was re-directed by Robin Peterson, the bowler, to move to the off side. Once there, McLaren thought he was to stand at slip but was shifted further and moved to cover. Graeme Smith wanted to stand there himself and moved McLaren into the point position where he was not sure how deep he was needed. With Smith, AB de Villiers and Peterson all waving their arms and pointing in different directions, it’s no surprise McLaren wasn’t sure where he had to be. Eventually, he got it right.