Pakistan v England, 1st T20, Dubai

At last, the people come

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the 1st T20 between Pakistan and England in Dubai

George Dobell in Dubai

February 23, 2012

Comments: 5 | Text size: A | A

Umar Gul's 3 for 18 played a major part in Pakistan's victory, Pakistan v England, 1st T20, Dubai, February, 23, 2012
Umar Gul's three wickets lead Pakistan to victory, on a day where the crowds came at last in the UAE © Getty Images
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Relief of the Day
When the Test series started in the UAE, the local authorities reacted to the low attendances by saying "oh, people will come on Friday". That, in turn, became "oh, people will come for the ODIs" which in time developed into "they'll come for the T20s". Well, at last they did. Some people remain a little condescending towards the shortest format of the game but the fact is that it either captures the imagination of spectators or, just as importantly, fits in with their work and family commitments. And they must really enjoy cricket if they can put up with the volume and the monotony of the fellow on the PA system.

Start of the Day
After the 4-0 drubbing in the ODI series, there have been calls for Pakistan to bring in new players with an eye to the future and the 2015 World Cup. Awais Zia certainly looked to have the confidence to thrive at this level: he threw everything at his first ball in international cricket and, though he did not quite middle it, still picked up a couple over extra cover. His second ball was thumped over midwicket. This was too brief an innings to draw any conclusions - the aggressive intentions looked better than the timing - but Awais at least look to have the aggression and self-confidence Pakistan require if they are to challenge in the shorter formats.

Drop of the Day
The words were always likely to come back to haunt Graeme Swann. Speaking during the English domestic season, Swann said: "When people misfield off my bowling, it makes me hate them. Really. I'm not joking. I want to do them and their family ill. I want to hunt them down and do them harm." So it was inevitable that, sooner or later, Swann would miss a chance that he probably should have taken. Asad Shafiq was on nine at the time and it wasn't the easiest chance - Swann was running backwards and the ball was coming out of the lights - but at this level, it should have been taken. Dernbach's face suggested he could empathise with Swann's murderous reactions.

Run-out of the Day
Shafiq was batting well until a moment of over-enthusiasm let him down. Backing up so far, Shafiq was unable to regain his ground after Mohammad Hafeez failed to make contact with anything other than the pad and Craig Kieswetter quickly returned the ball to the bowler. Swann, in accordance with the laws, gained a crucial split-second by using his elbow to break the stumps and Shafiq's promising innings was over.

Catch of the Day
The best make the difficult look simple. So it was for Jonny Bairstow when he claimed an outstanding catch off the final ball of the Pakistan innings to dismiss Shoaib Malik and save at least two runs. Anticipating well and quick seeing the opportunity, Bairstow covered the ground swiftly as he rushed in from long off and judged a tricky chance to perfection.

Dismissal of the Day
Kevin Pietersen looks in wonderful form at present. Confidence soaring, he had already pulverised Junaid Khan and drilled Shahid Afridi for a six over long off. The following ball, Pietersen also connected well but this time found Asad Shafiq on the midwicket boundary. It opened the door for Pakistan and might well have proved the defining moment of the match.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by applethief on (February 24, 2012, 14:21 GMT)

Yeah, I wasn't all that impressed with Bairstow's catch either.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2012, 3:16 GMT)

I think the Catch of the Day was by Asad Shafiq off Afridi to dismiss KP, this catch was a huge contribution to the victory of Pakistan as it got rid off the man-in-form who can win matches single handed.

Posted by samincolumbia on (February 24, 2012, 3:15 GMT)

Something to cheer for the english fans...Finally, more than a couple of people and a dog showed up to watch England play..yay!!

Posted by m3in_h00n_k0un on (February 23, 2012, 20:34 GMT)

Catch of the Day should have been Asad Shafiq with Perfection. He didnt' only caught, but saved 6 runs as well, comparing to Bristow save 2 runs.

Posted by Raeesani on (February 23, 2012, 20:17 GMT)

wonderful win by Pakistan i really appreciate the bowlers and good come back from shoaib malik....

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