Pakistan v England, 1st Test, Dubai, 3rd day January 19, 2012

Gul full of joy at gormless Pietersen

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

Gift of the day
They say it is good manners to bring your hosts a gift. Perhaps that is what Kevin Pietersen was thinking when he launched into a pull shot and picked out the man at deep square leg so obligingly that he was barely required to move. Pietersen receives much criticism, much of it undue, but, in the circumstances and on this pitch, this was a remarkably gormless, irresponsible piece of cricket that even his most ardent admirer could not defend.

Bamboozle of the day
Saeed Ajmal's doosra to dismiss Ian Bell was a truly beautiful piece of cricket. Coming into this series, Bell could claim, with some justification, to be England's best player of spin. But the manner in which he was bamboozled by one that just held its line and struck him on the back pad highlighted England's bafflement against the subtle spin of Ajmal. Bell's decision to review his dismissal and then "walk" as soon as he saw it replayed on the big screen only underlined his confusion.

Shot of the day
After losing Umar Gul early in the day, the momentum of the game seemed to be sliding towards England. Adnan Akmal arrested the slide with a half-century, every run hammering another nail in England's coffin. Akmal's first reverse sweep for four off Graeme Swann, dripping with impudence and confidence, added insult to injury and sped the game away from England.

DRS moment of the day
Prodding forward at a Graeme Swann delivery, Saeed Ajmal was adjudged caught off the glove by Alastair Cook at short leg. Replays suggested - though arguably not 100% convincingly - that the ball had come straight off the pad but Hot Spot was unusable as Ajmal's forward lunge was out of the frame of the camera. As a result, Billy Bowden's on-field decision - that looked highly dubious - was upheld as the third umpire, Steve Davis, did not see unequivocal reason to overturn it. Those - such as the BCCI - who suggest that the game does not currently have the technology to support a DRS system could be forgiven for saying "I told you so".

Milestone of the day
Umar Gul claiming his 150th Test wicket. Perhaps, in another era, an era of Wasim and Waqar or Amir and Asif, Gul might have struggled to hold down a regular spot in the Pakistan Test team. Certainly he would not have seen much of the new ball. But he is a fine cricketer and was at his best today. Responding to the flat pitch with a hostile spell, he claimed the key scalp - that of Jonathan Trott - to reach the 150-Test-wicket milestone. It was hard not to warm to his unaffected joy.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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