Pakistan v England, 3rd T20, Abu Dhabi February 27, 2012

Wash 'n go for Afridi

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the third T20 between Pakistan and England in Abu Dhabi

Run out of the day
Eoin Morgan was given little chance when his partner, Kevin Pietersen, called him for a run and then, having seen him commit, sent him back. It was, by any measures, an unfortunate end. But in truth, this was almost a mercy killing. Morgan looked horribly out of sorts. He was lucky to survive on five, when he mishit a ball just short of mid off, and again on seven, when Umar Akmal made such a mess of a stumping that it could have been an outtake of a Laurel and Hardy film. Pietersen has shown on this tour how quickly form can swing but, with Morgan clinging by his fingertips to a place in the Test squad, it was not an ideal time to produce such a wretched innings.

Catch of the day
For all the good things that Pakistan have done over the course of this tour, their fielding has remained poor. So it was a welcome surprise when Shoaib Malik produced a fine catch to end Craig Kieswetter's impressive innings. Running around the boundary from long on, Malik judged a tricky catch perfectly and finally took the ball diving on his knees. It was an important contribution in a low scoring game and an encouraging moment for a side with some work to do on that aspect of their game.

Redemption of the day
Moments after an out-of-character fielding error on the boundary cost England two runs, Jonny Bairstow made amends with an outstanding throw that brought the key wicket of Shahid Afridi. Perhaps Afridi, labouring for a second run in the final over of the innings, did not expect Bairstow, at long on, to throw to the keeper's end. But Bairstow, again showing the cool temperament that promises so much, spotted the opportunity and produced a remarkable throw - fast, flat and accurate - that proved too good for Afridi. The dismissal drove a nail into the coffin of Pakistan's hopes.

Odd sight of the day
Shahid Afridi having his hair washed on the playing area before the start of the game as a marketing gimmick for a brand of shampoo. It's hard to imagine Misbah-ul-Haq or, for that matter, Andrew Strauss, agreeing to undergo a similar experience. Quite where this might lead is anyone's guess: will Umar Gul have a dental examination at the break between innings? Will Graeme Swann see a chiropodist? Might Jade Dernbach have a tattoo? But bearing in mind the way the game finished, it was hard to avoid the impression that Afridi might do well to worry a little less about style and a little more about substance.

Decision of the day
Awais Zia may have had a shocker in the second T20 but he has twice helped Pakistan off to brisk starts. On this occasion his bright start was ended by an unfortunate umpiring decision. Shozab Raza, an inexperienced official standing in just his third international match, adjudged Zia out to a delivery from Graeme Swann that replays showed was pitching outside leg stump. The call ended what had been a controlled innings from Zia, devoid of the wild swinging that were a feature of ugly innings in the first two matches of the series.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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