Plays of the Day: Abu Dhabi, day three

Blog Opinion

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.

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