Five-Fer: More drops, iffy Biff, and Mighty #

Australia

The Aussies were all out for 246, having started the day on 112 for four, and lost four wickets in the morning session alone. They then responded well initially, but once Hashim Amla came in, he drove them into the ground.

Day three of the second Test in Port Elizabeth was another good one for the Proteas, aside from some minor glitches that could have been major but weren't, and they ended the day with a 369-run lead.

The Aussies were all out for 246, having started the day on 112 for four, and lost four wickets in the morning session alone. They then responded well initially, but once Hashim Amla came in, he drove them into the ground.

<b>1. Cricket porn</b>

Look. No-one with eyes can deny that a Mighty # cover drive is the most glorious shot in cricket. AB de Villiers is pretty amazing at it too, and he showed that on day three while he made 29, but Amla? Damn.

The bearded assassin had not made a score above 50 in seven straight innings, his longest stretch of poor form since 2007. But then he dislocated his finger while fielding, and the pain must have focused him or something, because he was on 93 at stumps.

Of the 12 fours he struck, eight were drives through the covers, and only two were behind square. De Villiers hit three cover drives out of five fours, and the pair put on one of the sexiest 55-run stands ever made (to quote @AltCricket).

<b>2. Unleash the beast</b>

Morne Morkel is by all estimations one of the nicest men in world cricket, on and off the field. He's not Dale Steyn-aggressive. He doesn't get angry or swear when he's hit to the ropes, and he doesn't chirp the batsmen.

Rubbish! Day three in PE unleashed a monster on the Aussie batsmen, and he brought out pace and bounce that no other bowler had produced in the game. He took three wickets in the innings, and all three came this morning.

The stand out moment, aside from the verbals he engaged in with David Warner early in the day (it was like watching Bruce Banner transforming), was when he bounced Mitchell Johnson just before lunch. The perfect short ball smashed into Johnson's helmet, right on the emblem, and he didn't last much longer after that.

<b>3. Lyon's run ended</b>

Another victim of Morkel's aggression, and also Steyn's, it must be said, was night watchman Nathan Lyon. The skinny spinner was on an impressive run of eight not out innings, stretching back to the fourth Ashes Test in England.

In the evening on day two he was peppered with balls into his body, and he just stood and took them bravely, but this morning it proved too much. He was wary of the bouncers, copped a few more, and then was out to one.

He faced up to a charging Morkel, and when he saw the ball coming towards his ribs he essentially backed away, closed his eyes, and swiped at it. The ball took the bottom edge and onto his stumps, ruining his 'nuggety tail ender' moniker.

<b>4. That damn angled bat</b>

Speaking of balls being edged onto the stumps. If only someone could attach a rubber band to the bottom of Graeme Smith's bat and tie it to his leg, to prevent that angled drive away from his body. Man alive!

Smith once again failed with the bat, out for 10 to Johnson, for the third time in four innings. He's not made more than 14 in this series, and his double ton against Pakistan feels very far away now (nine innings ago, in October 2013).

But what can you do? You're not going to drop him, especially with Alviro Petersen out of form too. A skipper is probably the only player whose place can be saved by everyone else on the team. If the Proteas are winning, can you drop the skipper?

To illustrate this more objectively, Michael Clarke is in no danger of being dropped. Not a whisper of it. But he's not scored more than 24 runs in his past 10 innings. Smith's double was nine knocks ago, but he got a 67 against India in December.

<b>5. Couldn't catch a cold</b>

Speaking of being dropped… It was another horrific fielding display by the Proteas. Added to the two dropped catches on day two, this is becoming an epidemic that calls for the return of Jonty Rhodes, even if it's just to chase them round the field with a cat-o-nine-tails.

Amla was the first culprit on day three, and it was a tough one admittedly. Brad Haddin, who only made nine, got a thick edge and it flew to Amla wide in the slips, and while he got both hands to it, it was going too fast. Hence the dislocated finger.

The other was a sitter. Robin Peterson, on the field for the injured Wayne Parnell, was gifted a catch by Steve Smith when he was on 24, and he put it down at square leg. Dale Steyn has rarely been so red with fury. Smith went on to make 49 before Morkel removed him.

<b>Lindsay du Plessis</b>

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