Plays of the Day: Dubai, day three

Blog Opinion

A recap of the highlights on day three of the second Test in Dubai, where the Proteas maintained control amid some drama.

<b>Shot of the Day</b><br>For all the flak he cops in nearly every game he plays, despite scoring plenty of runs, Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq actually hits more boundaries than people give him credit for. This was on display in Dubai, as he hit the day's only six, off Imran Tahir. He channeled Hansie Cronje by going forward on one knee and slog sweeping the ball into the cow corner stands.

<b>Delivery of the Day</b><br>Smith's mammoth innings came to an end in the 142nd over of the innings, thanks to some <b>Saeed Ajmal</b> guile. The spinner flighted the ball a little more to tempt the Proteas' skipper, and he took the bait, driving forward but not accounting for the turn and extra bounce, and edging it to Younis Khan at second slip.

<b>Hero of the Day</b><br>Pakistan spinner <b>Saeed Ajmal</b> really had a poor day on Thursday, but showed his class on day three by bouncing back to add four more wickets to his tally and ending with a six-fer. He sent down 11-odd overs for only 18 runs on the day, and also removed double centurion Graeme Smith.

<b>Villain of the Day</b><br>Naughty, naughty, <b>Faf du Plessis</b>! The T20 skipper was caught rubbing the rough side of the ball on the zip of his trouser pockets, which was called as ball tampering. The umpires changed the ball, and awarded Pakistan five penalty runs. Blushes all round for the visitors. Also villainous? The fan who had to be dragged out by security for allegedly shouting racism abuse at the players.

<b>Promise of the Day</b><br>At the rate things are going, unless Misbah does what Smith did, this <b>game will not go into a fifth day</b>. Two quick wickets in the morning for the Proteas and the game will be over before the sun starts fading away. JP Duminy and Imran Tahir were turning the ball miles late on day three, so…

<b>Tweet of the Day</b><br>South African cricket journalist <b>Neil Manthorp</b> quoted AB de Villiers at the close of play: "We are not a team which cheats, we do not scratch the ball. I was very surprised by the penalty runs, I don't know what that was about."

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