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ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the second day of the first Test between Pakistan and England in Dubai
George Dobell in Dubai
January 18, 2012
Report : Misbah helps Pakistan plod ahead
Players/Officials: Misbah-ul-Haq | Mohammad Hafeez | Matt Prior | Andrew Strauss | Taufeeq Umar | Jonathan Trott | Younis Khan | Younis Khan
Matches: England v Pakistan at Dubai (DSC)
Series/Tournaments: England tour of United Arab Emirates
Gallery: Pakistan take control on day two
Surprise of the day With tea beckoning and England's fast bowlers unable to coax any swing - reverse or conventional - out of a ball that was nearly 70 overs old, the decision to bring Jonathan Trott into the attack was probably made more in hope than expectation. Yet six balls into his spell Trott persuaded one to nip back sharply and trap Younis Khan, who until that point had oozed class, leg before. England were naturally delighted but Trott's much-vaunted bowling colleagues were scratching their heads, wondering why Trott was able to gain movement they could not.
Impact of the day After keeping his side in the game with a battling half-century on the first day, Matt Prior showed what a fine all-round cricketer he has become by pulling off an excellent catch and displaying excellent judgement on when to utilise the DRS system. Diving in front of first slip, Prior clung on to a very tough chance offered by Asad Shafiq to help England claw their way back into this game. He flung himself to his right and held a one-handed catch. He might not be the finished article standing up to the stumps but standing back Prior is a fine keeper. Just as importantly, he was a key voice calling for England to utilise the DRS for the delivery that dismissed Misbah-ul-Haq.
Contrast of the day The shot only went for three, but there was one stroke from Younis Khan that typified the difference in cricket played on these pitches from cricket in England. Confronted by a good length ball from James Anderson that would have hit off stump, Younis flicked across the line and sent the ball on its way through square leg. On an archetypal English pitch it would have been a high-risk stroke. Here, on a true wicket with very little assistance for the bowlers, it rendered England's attack far less potent and opened up more scoring opportunities for batsmen.
Drop of the day With England fighting back after tea, Adnan Akmal joined his captain with the match just about still in the balance: Pakistan led by 39 runs but had lost five wickets and have a somewhat fragile tail. So had Kevin Pietersen, at cover, been able to cling on to the tough chance offered by Akmal off Tremlett when he had nine, England might have been able to limit Pakistan's lead to little more than 60. As it was, Akmal and Misbah-ul-Haq stretched the lead to 91 before they were parted. It sustained Pakistan's excellent opportunity to build a match-defining position on day three.
Review of the day They may not have utilised it very well on the first day but the wicket of Misbah-ul-Haq showed that England are learning when to use their DRS options. At first impression, it appeared Misbah had moved his pad outside the line and the ball might have been turning too much. But Graeme Swann, Andrew Strauss and Matt Prior consulted and struck what might turn out to be a vital blow.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: George Dobell
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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