Pakistan v England, 1st Test, Dubai, 2nd day January 18, 2012

Trott has bowlers scratching their heads

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the second day of the first Test between Pakistan and England in Dubai

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 ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Tootu on January 19, 2012, 16:09 GMT

    @Nutcutlet wow!!! what a battle by England. Oh I got the term "toe to toe" fight out from England. Hilarious. If this is how England battle toe to toe, cannot imagine their worst loss. Have a sleep now.

  • Dummy4 on January 19, 2012, 8:27 GMT

    @nutcutlet. The term poms is widely used in England and the subcontinent primarily to denote Australians. Do you imply that it can be used only between australia/newzealand?

  • Dummy4 on January 19, 2012, 8:00 GMT

    hmm.. atlast it happened.. this is wt, i was expecting for a long time.. A debatable DRS decision against English.. Last one I rem was whn Laxman ruled notOUT and v knw the reactions of Broad and co.. Bt, it didnt hurt thm much since they were dominating thn.. Wud b interesting to c their reactions on Strauss dismissal, if Eng loses this match.. Though, they got one on their favor earlier today(Ajmal's wicket)...

  • Dummy4 on January 19, 2012, 7:17 GMT

    Gotta feel for Ajmal: Bowden's on-field decision (Ajmal caught off his glove via his pad) was clearly wrong, yet was not overturned by Steve Davis, the 3rd umpire, as - apparently - "The evidence was not conclusive enough to overturn the decision of the on-field umpire". But, hold on! Every single TV viewer who witnessed the event cannot fail to have concluded that there was clear daylight between Ajmal's glove & the ball - which only goes to prove that a system such as DRS, alas, is only as foolproof as the fools who administer it...

  • Satish on January 19, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas : No place for sanity here.. England fans ll be happy as this is why they need DRS as they can use it to their advantage.. Pakistan fans wont speak as it ll break away from their till now stance against BCCI.. DRS ll eliminate howlers but it also creates howlers.. Surely as a cricket fan, i ll live with howlers from umpires rather than from DRS..

  • Dummy4 on January 19, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    Is it only me who feels that subcontinent teams r always @ wrong end of DRS marginal decisions.. I hv never seen such inconsistencies against Eng/Aus.. I thought, Misbah's decision shud stay on Umpire's decision.. The ball is definitely not hitting the pad in line wid stumps.. Since its marginal and also the element of doubt shud b ruled in favor of batsman.. Am i wrong..??

  • Dummy4 on January 19, 2012, 5:54 GMT

    There seems to be a deep well of ignorance on this thread from certain Pakistani & Indian fans re the LBW law. Just to clarify, here's the Wikipedia entry on how, when & why a batsman can be given out LBW *even if* - as in Misbah's case - the ball happens to have pitched outside the line of Off stump: "The ball must hit the batsman in the region directly between the two wickets. An important exception is that, if the impact is outside the off stump, the batsman can be out LBW if he does not make a genuine attempt to play the ball (that is, if he does not "play a stroke")." C'mon, guys: it's hardly rocket science, is it? Misbah brought his bat down about two feet from where Swann's ball pitched! He clearly made no attempt whatsoever to play the ball. It was as clear an example of a batsman being giving out LBW after not playing a shot as you're ever going to see.

  • john on January 19, 2012, 5:30 GMT

    @Nabeel Ameer It doesn't matter if the ball pitches outside off. To be out LBW the ball must pitch not outside leg stump. If the batsman is playing a shot it also needs to hit his pads in line with the stumps.

  • V.L on January 19, 2012, 4:40 GMT

    @Nutcutlet Logically England battling hard is virtually impossible. If they cannot handle spinners on a day1 track, they definitely cannot handle them on day3/day 4 tracks. England will be bowled out for under 250 and Pakistan will win by 5 wickets (may be even more).

  • V.L on January 19, 2012, 4:35 GMT

    Well played Pakistan. The Poms are in for a sound thrashing. The claims that they can play spin on turning tracks turned out to be a big joke! @Yevghenny We are not as cocky as the Englismen especially under the current circumstances!

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