A quick review of the day three action from Abu Dhabi, where Pakistan again dominated the South African side as Misbah-ul-Haq's century stood as the highlight.
<b>Shot of the Day:</b> Aside from Misbah's century, <b>Asad Shafiq</b> played a nifty innings of 54 off 105 balls. Jacques Kallis was a particularly popular target for the batsman, but his best shot came off Vernon Philander. The Proteas paceman dropped it slightly short and a little too wide, and Shafiq rocked back and punched it neatly between the fielders to the cover boundary. It was one of six fours in his innings.
<b>Delivery of the Day:</b> An anticlimactic end to a fine century saw Misbah dismissed by <b>Dale Steyn</b>. The old ball didn't bring much reverse swing, nor did the second ball, but the delivery that ousted Misbah sported plenty of substance. Pitched outside the off-stump and screaming into the right-hander at tremendous pace, the job was done. For almost the first time in 187 deliveries and 100 runs, the stalwart Pakistani was rattled.
<b>Hero of the Day:</b> For all the unreasonable flak he cops, <b>Misbah-ul-Haq</b> really is a leader of men – by example throughout. Pakistan, in search of a big lead, demanded a big knock from their captain – and he obliged handsomely. Be it for the Test side, ODI outfit or Faisalabad Wolves recently, there is no denying his arguably unrivaled consistency. A maiden century against the planet's top-ranked attack came as welcome reward for a genuine servant of Pakistan cricket.
<b>Villain of the Day:</b> Hot Spot would have provided clarity in the innings 119th over, when Adnan Akmal had a caught-behind decision overturned. But the infra-red technology isn't available for this series, as the <b>Pakistan Cricket Board's</b> budget constraints continue to count pennies. For a nation eager to jump from a lowly sixth position to a promising fourth in the International Cricket Council rankings, one would've thought they'd equip themselves with all the resources available for the tough task.
<b>Promise of the Day:</b> No matter the size of Pakistan's lead, it's going to take a considerably stronger <b>reply from the Proteas</b> than their weak first-innings effort. A batting order expected to dominate has been found out, with a second chance sure to make for intriguing viewing come Thursday, as long as AB de Villiers can stay in the middle.
<b>Tweet of the Day:</b> <b>Dale Steyn</b>: "Happy 75th bday wooooooogy!!!! @jacqueskallis75". Steyn, of course, was jokingly referring to South African veteran Jacques Kallis, who in fact turned 38 on Wednesday. The old-timer made up for Tuesday's error in the slips with a cracking catch to get rid of Khurram Manzoor, but then went out for a duck when batting.
England are utterly infuriating, they really are.
Joe Root > Don Bradman. That’s just maths.
Changes for both teams ahead of The Oval.
England’s Test-match batting is broken. Time to get back to basics.
The WTC scoring system is stupid, but the fix is easy. Get it done.
The Badger lets off steam.
Joe Root is shepherding the ‘righteous’ England team through ‘the valley of darkness’ and must ‘lay his vengeance’ upon those closest to him
England have named an unchanged squad for this week’s final Ashes Test, resisting the temptation to draft in new blood.
All the innovation, variation and athleticism with sell-out crowds up and down the country – this was arguably the greatest T20 season yet.