Pakistan v England, 2nd Test, Abu Dhabi, 4th day January 28, 2012

The spinners take flight while fans unite

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the the fourth day of the second Test between Pakistan and England in Abu Dhabi

Moment of the day
Many great bowlers have represented Pakistan but with the wicket of Matt Prior, Saeed Ajmal became the fastest Pakistan bowler to 100 Test wickets. To make his achievement more remarkable, he has not played a single one of his 19 Tests at home. It was surely fitting that Prior was deceived by Ajmal's doosra.

Dismissal of the day
Abdur Rehman, gaining turn and wicked dip, kept convincing batsmen to play back when they should have been forward. Several England batsmen looked hapless against the spin but none more so than Eoin Morgan. Back when he should have been forward and with the bat at an angle when it should have been straight, Morgan left a gap so wide Inzamam-ul-Haq could have squeezed through.

Puzzling decision of the day
Andrew Strauss was on 16 when he played back to a delivery from Abdur Rehman only to edge the ball onto to his thigh and then, seemingly, into the hands of Azhar Ali at short leg. It looked to most observers as if the catch was clean but the umpire, Bruce Oxenford, wanted to make sure and the third umpire, Billy Bowden, felt he could not be certain. Strauss, who later admitted that he hit the ball, survived. It seemed a remarkable escape for Strauss, though it was to make little difference in the grand scheme of things.

England's high-water mark of the day
It does not matter which side you support, it is hard not to warm to the unaffected joy of a man who is relishing every moment of his career. Monty Panesar's leapt upon dismissing Saeed Ajmal, caught at slip to bring up his fifth wicket. It was understandable: he has spent nearly three years in the international wilderness and confessed during this match that he thought he may never win a recall. This was his ninth five-wicket haul in Tests but his first since May 2008. It clearly meant the world to him and was due reward for a skilful and persistent performance.

Image of the day
There were stories - stories that were vehemently denied by the authorities - after the third day that England and Pakistan supporters had been segregated in the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. There was little evidence of such issues on the fourth day - or the third, if truth be told - as this picture of members of the Barmy Army and Pakistan supporters swapping caps shows. Cricket has many issues but tension between spectators, thankfully, is very rarely one of them.

Quote of the day
"It is a struggle to think of a loss that has hurt more than this," Andrew Strauss, the England captain.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 29, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    i think its a fair game.. england spniners done well.. pakistani excellent

  • Dummy4 on January 29, 2012, 7:31 GMT

    "Morgan left a gap so wide Inzamam-ul-Haq could have squeezed through" Hilarious good sense of humour and well said George....

  • Naveed on January 29, 2012, 6:52 GMT

    Truly was a shocker of a decision by Billy Bowden....eventually didnt matter though but more common sense coupled with technology is needed to get the balance right. well played to both Pak and Eng... Image of the day is also very interesting as it truly depicts the cordial and respectful atmosphere of this series.

  • Dummy4 on January 29, 2012, 0:45 GMT

    Ajmal and Rehman you beauties :)))

  • zulfiquar on January 28, 2012, 23:17 GMT

    Image of the day: That just shows a picture after the event. You can look at the picture from the Telegraph and not a single member of the Barmy Army in in sight. I am not trying to instigate anything, but it appears that there were some truth to the separation - it may been by choice(?).

  • Dummy4 on January 28, 2012, 22:32 GMT

    a strugle to think of a loss tat has hurt more than this... wow , quotable quote ! and it is also a strugle to find a man who has been this honest as captain ! wat forces one to say , no mater dude,,part of game !

  • M on January 28, 2012, 21:22 GMT

    Loolz @ Inzi could have squeezed through......dare I say, he would have squeezed through and then fallen onto the stumps.

  • michael on January 28, 2012, 20:48 GMT

    If Strauss knew he had hit it, as he later admitted, he should have walked. Congratulations to Pakistan for a job well done!

  • Yaseen on January 28, 2012, 20:10 GMT

    "Morgan left a gap so wide Inzamam-ul-Haq could have squeezed through" loll

  • SMA on January 28, 2012, 19:55 GMT

    It was worth adding in the "MOMENT OF THE DAY"

    Even more remarkable, all these 100 wickets came playing under the neutral umpires.

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