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ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the second day of the second Test between Pakistan and England in Abu Dhabi
George Dobell in Abu Dhabi
January 26, 2012
Report : Ajmal leads Pakistan's late rally
Analysis : England pair defy Pakistan before cracks reappear
Matches: England v Pakistan at Abu Dhabi
Series/Tournaments: England tour of United Arab Emirates
Moment of the day Jonathan Trott had just 22 and his partnership with Alastair Cook was worth 44, when Saeed Ajmal spun an off-break sharply and caught the batsmen in the crease. The lbw appeal was turned down and, after a quick chat, Pakistan decided not to use one of their reviews. Had they done so, Trott would have been out. To rub salt in the wound, Pakistan later wasted two reviews - also against Trott - for further lbw appeals that were declined. Trott and Cook went on to add 139.
Decision of the day It is not often the most impressive moment of an innings comes in the moment of dismissal. In Cook's 94, perhaps it did. Make no mistake, Cook was rightly adjudged lbw. But there are many international batsmen - one or two who share the same dressing room - who would have struggled to show the restraint demonstrated by Cook and would have insisted on calling - and wasting - a review. To show such selflessness six short of a century speaks volumes for Cook's character.
Strike of the day Resuming on 256 for 7, Pakistan still had the opportunity to stretch their first innings score past 300. As it was their last three wickets lasted 16 balls. The key wicket was Misbah-ul-Haq. After his innings the previous day, Misbah was only half forward to another fine delivery from Stuart Broad that nipped back off the seam and would have gone on to hit middle stump. It was the 13th time since his recall to the side that Misbah had passed 50. Only once has he gone on to register a century.
Near miss of the day The first ball Saeed Ajmal bowled to Trott was a perfect doosra: it spun away sharply and left the batsman groping at fresh air. Put simply it was too good to edge. Perhaps had Ajmal bowled the same delivery in Dubai, where there was less turn and his doosra seemed to skid on, he would have found the edge.
Ball of the day The partnership between Trott and Cook added 139 runs in 50.4 overs in increasing comfort when Abdur Rehman produced a beautiful delivery that drifted into Trott, pitched on middle and turned to clip the top of the off stump. Perhaps Trott might have negated the spin had he played further forward but it was a tremendous ball from an underrated bowler.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: George Dobell
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