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

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

George Dobell in Abu Dhabi

January 28, 2012

Comments: 20 | Text size: A | A

Abdur Rehman took career-best figures of 6 for 25, Pakistan v England, 2nd Test, Abu Dhabi, 4th day, January 28, 2012
Abdur Rehman was the star for Pakistan on day four © AFP

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (January 29, 2012, 8:12 GMT)

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

Posted by   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....

Posted by Dr.Hasan 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.

Posted by   on (January 29, 2012, 0:45 GMT)

Ajmal and Rehman you beauties :)))

Posted by ZsZs 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(?).

Posted by   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 !

Posted by haq33 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.

Posted by mike9999 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!

Posted by KingYaz on (January 28, 2012, 20:10 GMT)

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

Posted by TorontoMarine 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.

Posted by Simmy567 on (January 28, 2012, 18:49 GMT)

Woah....that Inzy jibe was a bit out of order, aha!

Posted by chief.boss on (January 28, 2012, 18:45 GMT)


Posted by   on (January 28, 2012, 18:08 GMT)

its time for mr. bowden to say bye-bye. one can understand the human errors made by the on field umpires, but 3rd umpire mr. bowden's mistake can not be termed a human error. that could have cost the match for pak

Posted by cyniket on (January 28, 2012, 17:32 GMT)

nice to be reminded that most fans are reasonable people who just enjoy the cricket. Unlike so many commenters on this website, who jump at the chance to gloat at every opportunity. not a political point, fans of all countries do it.

Posted by shahbazchoudhry on (January 28, 2012, 16:17 GMT)

Great Job Done by the Rehman & Saeed in particular, But never the less it is a team effort . Congratulation for whole Team and supporting Staf and Whole Nation. Pakistani Team improving day by day it is good for the pakistan,s Cricket as well as for the nation. But on the other hand Pakistani team have to improve the Feilding . Never the less it is a Great win.

Pakistan Zinda Abad

Posted by SaleemSabir on (January 28, 2012, 16:14 GMT)

Mr Dobbel, well i can Only Sympathise with You, it was definetely Great test match, England performed well for three days but Asad and Azhar laid the foundation of their fall and rehman finally was too difficult to play under pressure... well done Pakistan...

Posted by ThKhan on (January 28, 2012, 15:55 GMT)

Strauss's saying sums up the game.

Posted by harican on (January 28, 2012, 15:53 GMT)

who will win the race Ajmal or Rehman

Posted by Blueangle on (January 28, 2012, 15:53 GMT)

"Morgan left a gap so wide Inzamam-ul-Haq could have squeezed through"! Loved it. You have a great sense of humor Dobell...

Posted by Mnomann on (January 28, 2012, 15:26 GMT)

I missed the occasion when barmy army exchanged caps with Pakistani supporters. Can cricinfo share one for us. On Strauss not out decision, will people start criticizing third umpire rule like they criticize poor DRS???

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