Jon Cardinelli reflects on the big moments that shaped day three of the Test at Newlands.
BATSMAN OF THE DAY
AB de Villiers put on a show for the Newlands faithful on day three, and the South African side should also be grateful for his game-shaping contribution. The knock marked his 21st Test century, and ultimately he finished with 148 off 194 balls.
BOWLER OF THE DAY
Jason Holder took two South African wickets, and may have had another with a bit of luck. Shortly after AB de Villiers reached his century, Holder cramped the batsman for room and forced a false stroke. Fortunately for De Villiers, the inside edge missed the stumps.
SHOT OF THE DAY
AB de Villiers played some unforgettable shots over the course of the day, but his first was arguably his best. Marlon Samuels bowled the first over of the day, and may have expected De Villiers to adopt a more conservative approach. De Villiers surprised with a dart down the wicket, and then an expansive drive that sent the ball cannoning to the mid-on fence for four.
DELIVERY OF THE DAY
Midway through the first session, the West Indies complained about the state of the ball, and the umpires changed it. Perhaps this disrupted the batsmen, as Hashim Amla was out the very next delivery. And yet, you need to give Jason Holder credit for hitting a superb length and inducing the edge of a player who was well set.
FAIL OF THE DAY
Shortly after tea, Kraigg Brathwaite scored seven runs with a single stroke. The ball was nudged to the onside, and the West Indies came back for three runs. Wicketkeeper AB de Villiers received the throw from the man in the outfield, and then proceeded to hurl the ball to the bowler’s end in an attempt to catch Brathwaite short of his ground. The wild throw eluded Vernon Philander and went for four. Immediately after making the mistake, De Villiers threw his gloves to the ground in disgust.
Those seven runs (see above) allowed Kraigg Brathwaite to get off the mark. It’s the first time a batsman has got off the mark with a ‘seven’ in Test cricket.
CONVERTING AT LAST
Three West Indians (Leon Johnson, Jermaine Blackwood, and Denesh Ramdin) scored half centuries and then failed to crack on, Two South Africans in Faf du Plessis (68) Hashim Amla (63) were similarly unsuccessful. AB de Villiers bucked the trend when he surpassed 100 in the second session on day three.
THIRD TIME UNLUCKY
Stiaan van Zyl survived two lbw appeals, but not a third. All three appeals were subsequently referred to the television umpire. So what have we learned from this? Hawk-Eye will get you eventually. That or stop letting the ball hit you on the pads.
MILESTONE OF DAY
AB de Villiers surpassed the 7,500 Test-run mark during the first session on day three.
STAT OF CONCERN
South Africa lost their last four wickets for just 37 runs.