Plays of the Day: Dubai, day one

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Imran Tahir and Dale Steyn epitomise thie highs, while Asad Shafiq and Mohammad Irfan typify the lows – after day one in Dubai.

<b>Shot of the Day</b><br>Noted for its infamy rather than substance, <b>Asad Shafiq's</b> stroke to get out was horrendous. The situation demanded resilience amid dogged defence, not a rash slog of tail-end proportions. The dismissal was, by far, the easiest of Tahir's five.

<b>Delivery of the Day</b><br>In a stark contrast to Abu Dhabi's opening throes, <b>Dale Steyn</b> brought a superb precedent with Wednesday's very first delivery. Swinging, Pitching on a penny, and nipping off the seam, an absolute cracker beat Khurram Manzoor all ends up – and perfectly set up his dismissal a ball later.

<b>Hero of the Day</b><br>'A cricketer is only as good has his last Test,' reads the old, with <b>Imran Tahir</b> long the victim of November 2012's nine for 260 in Adelaide. The wrongs of the past, however, have been rectified – to a small degree. Wednesday's five-wicket haul reinstalled the nation's confidence in their Pakistan-born spinner – and entirely justified Robin Peterson's omission.

<b>Villain of the Day</b><br><b>Mohammad Irfan's</b> size 15 boots – quite literally – landed him in trouble. Umpire Rod Tucker wanted nothing to do with the lanky seamer's excuses for treading on the pitch – and dished out enough warning. Not quite akin to England right-armer Steven Finn's leg striking the non-striker's stumps, but villainous nonetheless.

<b>Promise of the Day</b><br>Russell Domingo and company could easily have slotted <b>Dean Elgar</b> down the order, as per status quo, but instead elevated Amla's replacement to first-drop. The left-hander weathered the initial storm, and gradually grew in comfort. Until Saeed Ajmal's extra bounce tolled. A good sign, indeed, for the bench strength of South Africa's batting.

<b>Tweet of the Day</b><br>Holed up in the hospital waiting room ahead of the birth of his second child, Dubai absentee <b>Hashim Amla</b> found the time for several Twitter entries: Great effort from the bowlers. Especially Imran and Dale. Imi – you beauty! Keep going boys. All the best Proteas. Thoughts with you guys."

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