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Plays of the day from the first day of the first Test between Pakistan and South Africa in Abu Dhabi
Firdose Moonda in Abu Dhabi
October 14, 2013
The birthday gift
Shan Masood received a present anyone would want on their birthday - a first Test cap. As the more junior of Pakistan's two debutants - Masood is a decade younger than Zulfiqur Babar - he was stationed at short leg. He, however, was soon called into action soon when Alviro Petersen was surprised by the extra bounce generated by Mohammad Irfan. Masood juggled the offering initially before holding on to a second take. It look a lengthy referral to adjudge whether the catch had been taken clearly, and once that was confirmed, Petersen was sent on his way. It provided a birthday gift the youngster would not forget in a hurry.
A man the size of Irfan is bound to be too big for some things, and his oversized feet are occasionally guilty of creeping over the line. After lunch, the frequency of the error became greater, but umpire Paul Reiffel did not seem to take notice. Television cameras caught Irfan overstepping at least three times before Reiffel spotted one himself. As he held his arm out to signal the no-ball, Graeme Smith stood up to applaud sarcastically, a display the broadcasters were quick to capture.
The searing heat in the post-lunch session may have made some people dozy, but not Younis Khan and Adnan Akmal. AB de Villiers strode forward to defend a Babar delivery but inside-edged on to his pad, and the ball ended up rolling to first slip. He thought that was the end of things for the moment and held his pose, leaving his back foot on the crease. Akmal, however, was quick to notice the indiscretion and signalled to Younis to return the ball to him. Younis did, and Akmal stealthily took off the bails. Replays showed de Villiers' foot was on the line, and he was sent packing to give Pakistan a timely breakthrough.
The catch that wasn't
Dale Steyn may not have fancied a bowl late in the day, but he also did not want to hang around without contributing with the bat. He took a liking to Babar, and after defending one ball that was tossed up, waltzed down the pitch to loft the next inside-out and down the ground. When Steyn hit it, he seemed to have top-edged it to long-off, but the ball went high and long, just carrying over the rope for six. He tried it again three balls later, and this time Khurram Manzoor got his hands to it, but when he realised the shot would carry the ball over the boundary with his momentum, Manzoor was able to release the ball back onto the field in the nick of time.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondentFeeds: Firdose Moonda
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