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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 21, 2012, 3:07 GMT

    In the case of Saeed Ajmal's dismissal, that was a terrible piece of umpiring. The replays quite clearly showed the ball missing the glove so the decision should have been overturned. Steve Davis, however, saw differently and relayed his thoughts to Billy Bowden. This was the umpires fault, so you can't blame the DRS. The technology, itself was not flawed, but rather the use of it was, in my opinion.

    Generally speaking, it is laughable to refuse the use of Hawkeye (or Hotspot) because it isn't 100% accurate. Last time I checked, the whole LBW rule is based on predicting whether the ball would go on to hit the stumps. As such, any LBW decision made is questionable.

  • michael on January 21, 2012, 2:58 GMT

    @Mervo. Yet more drivel from an Australian. You and Jonesy2 make a right pair.Recruiting from South Africa and Ireland? We have 2 SA players who came up through the county circuit and its not as if someone as talented as Morgan is going to play the rest of his career for Ireland, get real. You conveniently forget Uzman Khawaja is Pakistani. Andrew Symonds was born in England and Dirk Nannes is dutch so get off your high horse and accept that most nations do this.You say there are no all time greats in this Eng side, well why dont you wait until their careers have unfolded first. Matt Prior is well on his way to becoming a great keeper/batsmen. Cook will eclipse what Hayden did and Pietersen and Bell will no doubt score as many runs as many of the past Aus greats. Your current team would love Broad or Swann in it or Trott at No.3 You aussies really have shown your true colours in defeat. Sore sore losers.

  • Muhammad on January 21, 2012, 2:55 GMT

    @AbdullahShaikh, again, we don't need your advice on DRS. Please keep it to yourself.

  • Dummy4 on January 21, 2012, 1:44 GMT

    Half in jest @ gormless Pietersen. Waiting for the SA tour of England. If Kevin gets out, caught by Alviro, to the bowling of Robin -- the score card can show:" PIETERSON (c) PETERSON (b) PETERSON" ! for whatever Sehwagian output he may deliver for his employer.

  • Dummy4 on January 21, 2012, 1:34 GMT

    @5Wombats."Why are Indian Cricket fans here?" For the same reason, English bloggers post their comments on the India-Australia matches. Because they all love cricket, expected good cricket, played by all nations with good cricket teams -- even when some of them field with 40% imported mercenaries! Got it!!

  • Martin on January 20, 2012, 22:21 GMT

    @Precioustar84 on (January 20 2012, 07:23 AM GMT) - OMG cricinfo has published a post where you describe yourself (india fan) as "unbiased"...... by what definition? We don't get it - why are india fans here? Is it because they don't want to participate anymore in yet another unfolding disaster of an away india tour? - you know - the one in Australia. Suppose it is only human nature to jump off a sinking ship..... @RasCric - bravo. Time for india fans to get off of the Pakistan bandwagon. Pakistan beat England fair and square. Well played Pakistan. Please publish.

  • Mohammad on January 20, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    Congradulations Pakistan, Saeed Ajmal & Umar Gul for this excellant victory over England, we pray that Pakistani team may continue to together such victories in this way...

  • Abdullah on January 20, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    @ Siddharth_Pandit .. i absolutely agree with you regarding DRS. After all cricket was played like this for close to 150 years. Moreover now with the ICC panel of elite umpires the Umpiring standard has definately improved by miles. The ICC has at its disposal some great umpires like A.Rauf, Ian Gould, Billy B., and more. I understand that the best among thme have an accurate rate of about 97-98 percent. Instead of wasting money on such useless & expensive technology we must invest improving and trainning of umpires and compensate generously to the good ones so that there should be competition and improvement in umpiring.

  • Abdullah on January 20, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    @ Plz_Dont_Get_Whitewashed .. Fantastic comment DRS - Donkey Review System. These guys want us to pay heavily for a completely flawed technology. Also they will get unlimited/Tyranical powers to bully us with. BCCI is right this DRS is nonesense but some how Pak is falling into it. I understand that some of the senior Indian players have resonable relation with Pak seniors, they should try to explain the ills of DRS to them. It is a draconian system.

  • Chris on January 20, 2012, 11:42 GMT

    Fantastic performance by Pakistan - I was particularly impressed with Misbah's captaincy throughout the match, not to mention Ajmal's flight! This could be a cracking series if England can get their act together and manage to post a competitive 1st innings total AND play 2 spinners! Roll on the 2nd test!

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