PORT ELIZABERTH – IOL Sport’s cricket writer Zaahier Adams was in Port Elizabeth for the historic once-off day-night Test at St George's Park. Here are a few of his Plays of the Test:
Blink and it’s gone!
The Test lasted just two days and 907 balls which is the shortest Test recorded since World War 2. Interestingly, the last time a Test lasted two days Zimbabwe were also involved back in 2005 against South Africa at Newlands.
The five-year wait
Morne Morkel has for long been the unheralded member of South Africa’s pace trio. While Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and lately Kagiso Rabada were collecting five-wickets hauls regularly, Morkel was often on the other side doing the hard yards. But with batsmen judged on how many centuries they score, it would have been sore point for the lanky fast bowler that his last milestone was achieved five years ago against Australia in Adelaide. The wait finally came to and yesterday when Morkel had Sikander Raza caught behind.
Andile Phehlukwayo has only just completed his third Test match of his fledgling career, and perhaps does not have the first-class numbers to suggest that he should already by playing the longest format of the game, but every time he pulls on that Proteas jumper he seems to deliver. The 21-year-old delivered admirable spells in both innings to finish with match figures of 5/25 to throw his Baggy Green firmly into the selection ring for the India series.
Quinton de Kock’s dodgy hamstring
South Africa’s wicket-keeper was ruled out of this Test after suffering a Grade 1 hamstring strain while batting, and although the Proteas medical staff are confident he will recover in time for the first Test against India on January 5 at Newlands, there is great debate to who will replace De Kock should he not win his fitness race.
AB de Villiers was behind the stumps here in PE, and was asked if would he continue the job against the Indians if required.
He responded: “I’ll chat to the coach about that. I am not sure. Ideally, I would not like to keep and focus on my batting.
Keeping tends to get to me after a while, especially in tough series when I need to focus on my batting. I feel that gets in a way a touch.
Long story short … No … but it’s up for discussion.”