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

More head-scratching over DRS

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the first day of the third Test in Dubai

Head-scratching of the day
The decision to overturn the ruling of on-field umpire, Simon Taufel, and give Mohammad Hafeez out lbw to Stuart Broad will be used by opponents of the DRS system as an example of its ills. While ball-tracking technology showed the delivery going on to hit the stumps, there was also the suggestion of an inside edge from Hot Spot. The third umpire, Shavir Tarapore, either did not see the spot - and it was tiny - or did not think the evidence was sufficient to warrant incorporating into his decision. But in essence it means Tarapore overruled Taufel - something that should only occur if the on-field umpire has demonstrably made a clear mistake. Taufel, it seems, made the right decision - quite possibly on the basis that Hafeez hit the ball - only for it to be overruled. So is the DRS flawed? Or is the problem with the individuals using it?

Shot of the day
In a low-scoring game, Asad Shafiq once again stood out while his more experienced team-mates struggled. Displaying good judgement about which balls to attack and which to defend, he contributed 45 of Pakistan's 99 and hit three of the seven boundaries they managed. One shot stood out: a flowing pull off James Anderson after the bowler dragged the ball just a little bit short. It was a high-quality stroke from a young man who appears to be growing in stature with every outing.

Catch of the day
Adnan Akmal, diving in front of first slip, clung on to a tough chance offered when Alastair Cook followed one angled across him from Umar Gul. While doubts about the consistency of Akmal's batting remain, he has demonstrated in this series he is a reliable keeper. After a few years in which Pakistan have been plagued by dropped chances, such a quality should not be undervalued.

Mistake of the day
For a man who hates giving his wicket away, Jonathan Trott's failure to call for a review when he was adjudged lbw by umpire Steve Davis was puzzling. Had he reviewed it, Trott would have been reprieved as replays showed the ball missing the stumps down the leg side. Perhaps what the dismissal illustrates more than anything is how far across to the off side Trott had fallen and, once that happens, how poor his balance can become.

Let-off of the day
The score was 77 for four when Andrew Strauss, on 35, aimed a sweep at Abdur Rehman. Pakistan appealed but not with much enthusiasm. They declined the opportunity to call for a review. Had they done so, Strauss would have been given out. The ball struck him in line and the ball-tracking technology showed it would have gone on to hit middle stump. It might yet prove to be a key moment in what appears to be another low-scoring Test.

Stat of the day
Saeed Ajmal has now sent down 32 balls to Ian Bell in this series and dismissed him four times for the cost of just 12 runs. On each occasion, it has been Ajmal's doosra that has inflicted the damage. Bell may count himself a little unfortunate on this occasion: the ball bounced off the gloves of Adnan Akmal onto the stumps. Had it been taken cleanly, it is unlikely that Bell would have been stumped. But the statistics do not lie: Ajmal's dominance of Bell is overwhelming.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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