Pakistan v England, 4th ODI, Dubai February 21, 2012

Pakistan felled in the field

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the 4th ODI between Pakistan and England in Dubai

Moment of the day
Kevin Pietersen had been batting beautifully. In reaching his second successive century he timed the ball remarkably crisply. But, when he had 80 and England required 85 more runs to win, he attempted a scoop shot over the wicketkeeper off Abdur Rehman only to miss the ball and be adjudged lbw. He immediately called for a review and was reprieved when it was shown he had been struck outside the line. DRS may not have won over everyone just yet, but on this occasion, it averted an error that could well have defined the match.

Wicket of the day
At first glance, the shot that brought Umar Akmal's dismissal seemed thoughtless, to say the least. Maybe at second glance, too. Skipping down the pitch he lofted his drive straight into the hands of long-off to present Danny Briggs with his first ODI wicket. There was some context, however. Pakistan has just gone 50 balls without a boundary and Azhar Ali - who reached 43 from 59 balls but took another 30 to score his next 15 - had become horribly bogged down. Akmal, concerned about his team's slow progress and frustrated by a tight spell of bowling, eventually buckled under the pressure, but the sedate scoring of his colleague played a part in his demise.

Catch of the day
There were just 23 deliveries left in the Pakistan innings when Shahid Afridi launched into a pull stroke only to see Tim Bresnan run in from deep midwicket and judge a tricky, low catch to perfection. It ended any chance Pakistan had of pushing their total up above 250 - a benchmark they have only reached three times in their last 29 ODIs - and encapsulated another decent fielding performance from England.

Contrast of the day
Abdur Rehman was offered a similar chance in the England innings. Pietersen already had his century when he swung a short ball from Junaid Khan towards deep midwicket where Rehman, clearly unsure whether to go for the catch, reacted just a little late and was then forced into an optimistic dive. Not only did he miss the catch, he was unable to prevent the ball going for four. It was a moment that defined the key difference between these sides: while England are a strong fielding side, Pakistan, by the high standards of modern ODI cricket, are quite wretched.

Entry of the day
Short of offering a free bar, it's hard to impress a room full of journalists. They are, on the whole, a pretty jaded bunch. The arrival of Sheikh Nahyan at an ODI in Abu Dhabi the other day barely merited a turned head. But Imran Khan seems to transcend any sort of world-weariness. The excited reaction to his arrival in the press box in Dubai was remarkable to see: a crowd gathered, cameras flashed, usually hardened journalists were transformed into schoolgirls catching a glimpse of their favourite pop star. Not many men inspire such enthusiasm. Imran was in Dubai to host a fundraising dinner for the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and its research centre in Lahore. He is somewhat removed from the world of cricket these days, but did offer the opinion that Misbah-ul-Haq should bat higher up the order in limited-overs cricket.

Review of the day
Misbah was far from certain whether to call for a review of the lbw shout against Alastair Cook. While Junaid Khan was adamant that Cook would be given out, Misbah shrugged and prevaricated before, eventually and reluctantly, gambling with his only review. He was glad he did: Cook, in the ODI form of his life in this series to date, was shown to be plumb in front and Pakistan had taken a key wicket.

Departure of the day
The scorebook will show that Jos Buttler experienced an unhappy ODI debut: caught at short leg without scoring. But Buttler did emerge with some credit. He was dismissed by just his second ball on his ODI debut. And he walked. Yes, he would almost certainly have been given out anyway and yes, Pakistan could have used a review had he not been. But, in the spur of the moment and amid all the emotion and disappointment, Buttler walked. How many would have done that? Buttler will not take much pleasure in his debut, but he can take some pride.

Edited by Alan Gardner

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Valavan on February 22, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    @Sports4Youth, comon mate relax, Misbah helped Pakistan to get some respect at Test Level. For every ODIs so much fuss, imagine in 2012 december or 2013 January, Pakistan goes to SA, wish to see more excuses and yawning from you, when we see if Pakistan is another Lamb out of UAE. Understand onething, India never whitewashed Pakistan in bilateral ODI series home and away, but this English team did it, give credit where its due, OK, wish to see your comments when Pakistan (IF YOU ARE PAKISTAN FAN) travels out of subcontinent. cricinfo please publish.

  • Manjunath on February 22, 2012, 10:50 GMT

    I think england can be called 'Whitewash' team :) Either they get whitewashed or they will whitewash opponants :) their last 3 ODI series and 2 test series have been 'whitewashed'

  • Dummy4 on February 22, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    After the demise of Aamir and Asif Pakistan has not been able to find new pacers and were forced to depend on spin attack. On the other hand the defensive nature of Misbah costed us the series especially the 4th ODI. With this squad the T20 series will also be 3-0 to England.

  • Dummy4 on February 22, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    crickets a funny game...change the format and a few new additions and England look very very solid....looked the same for the test matches (with a different result), Pakistans problem is obvious, they cant play pace, they have struggled against pace for years, with the 2 new balls they will struggle even more...only solution is to have Shafiq and Ali open the innings as test specialists to see of the new balls, and bring Hafeez at number 5 or 6...lets hope the t20s are not as one sided :)....KP is BACK....!!!

  • Cricket on February 22, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    Evne the ODI series could have been different. Had Misbah been more calculatvie and attacking in his approach the result would have been different. Misbah did not have suffient filelder in the catching positions and also did not bother to block the singles. This would not have been new for Misbah as this is something he had done beautifully during the test series.

  • Dummy4 on February 22, 2012, 7:31 GMT

    I don't remember what team played 6 spinners 1 pace bowlers in a match.. India used to do that when playing at home. Pace bowling is alwyas pakistan's strength, we have great spin attack but does that mean reduce ur pace attack.. ? this pakistani team seams more "ARMY OF SPINNERS" but the saddest thing is they couldn't conquer..

    I am not happy the way pakistan lost all 4 ODI games to England.. there is no doubt England played extremely well specially AC n KP.. its always pleasure to watch KP when he is on song.

  • Dummy4 on February 22, 2012, 4:10 GMT

    Dear England, Pl don't follow India's footsteps!

  • Jem on February 22, 2012, 1:59 GMT

    @Patchmaster - agree totally about Trott and always felt this. Even when he seemed to be the only English batsmen in the World Cup who was scoring runs consistently, his selfishly slow scoring rate put too much pressure on the other batsmen to score doubly quickly to make up for his crawl. This brings me to my constant complaint: why should you have one batsman to "bat through an innings" regardless of how slow he scores his runs? That puts pressure on incoming batsmen who have had no time to adjust to the pitch, bowlers and conditions to score quickly from the outset. Surely it would be better for the set batsman to step up the pace, allowing the new batsmen time to get his eye in. If the former then gets out, the surviving batsman can then pick up the pace and let the next batsman have time, as he did, to get his eye in. The only adjustment to this would be if one particular batsman felt in great nick and was happy to be the aggressor from the outset. Has anyone any thoughts on this?

  • m on February 21, 2012, 23:19 GMT

    i am still happy with 3-0 test V I C T O R Y .... english can prase all they want but 3 - Z I P was G R E A T .............pakistan just need one middle order player to score 70 and 1 or 2 down and all will be good ..... there is going to be some changes soon as player like milk and few other will get prfessional help ......and Pak will find a xpress bowler ......but still happy with 3 - Z I P V I C T O R Y

  • Ed on February 21, 2012, 21:29 GMT

    Trott is all at sea in ODI's now - time for him to g and work on his ODI game. I like him as a player, but he's become too bogged down in ODI's and his slow scoring puts needless pressure on his team mates.

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