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Plays of the day from the third ODI between Pakistan and South Africa in Abu Dhabi
November 6, 2013
Pakistan lost their first four wickets within 39 runs and were in a precarious position after Misbah-ul-Haq was dismissed. Coming in to bat at such a juncture, Umar Akmal was understandably nervous. The wicketkeeper took his guard by knocking the bail into the ground but spent so much time hitting it, that when he was done, he realised the bail was stuck in the pitch. Akmal had to reach down and wriggle it about before taking guard and beginning the tricky task of chasing at six runs an over.
Irfan confounds Amla
Mohammad Irfan produced the most eye-catching delivery during the South African innings. The bowler has impressed with his ability to bowl full, despite his height, and he showed it against Hashim Amla. He pitched it on middle and Amla could not get his bat down in time; he played around it and his off stump was shaken. Amla looked behind in bemusement as he realised his return to the XI was over.
Duminy gets DRS right
In the first two matches of the series, neither team showed astute use of the DRS system, but things changed in this game. When JP Duminy was given out caught behind off Irfan, he immediately called for a referral. Although there was a sound as the ball passed the bat, replays showed it hit the thigh pad. Duminy was handed a reprieve and became the first person to correctly ask for a review in this series. He was on 3 at the time and made the most of his let-off.
Irfan's honest example
When AB de Villiers drove the ball back firmly towards Irfan, the big man could not react quickly enough to take the catch. Instead, it seemed the ball had deflected off his fingers to hit the stumps at the non-striker's end, where JP Duminy was out of his crease. Some of the Pakistan fielders started to appeal but Irfan remained silent, eventually indicating he did not believe he had touched the ball.
Catch of the day
Mohammad Hafeez took a stunning catch, running backwards at fine leg, to dismiss AB de Villiers and he was the victim of another sharp pick-up himself. After getting a start and surviving an over off Dale Steyn, Hafeez drove Morne Morkel to point where Faf du Plessis claimed a catch low down. Du Plessis immediately threw the ball up in celebration while Morkel held his arms aloft in similar triumph but Hafeez did not move. He was convinced the catch was not cleanly picked up and the decision had to be checked by the third umpire. The footage showed du Plessis had his fingers under the ball and Hafeez had to go, albeit reluctantly.
De Kock survives the deep end
Asked to make his comeback opening the batting and keeping wicket, Quinton de Kock was thrown in at the deep end. He did well in the first task but struggled with some of his keeping duties in conditions where the ball was swinging more than expected. The first ball Misbah-ul-Haq faced beat the outside edge and de Kock to go for four byes. Three balls later, it went the other way, down the leg side. Misbah got a shave of his bat on it and it was a tough chance for de Kock. The wicketkeeper got a bit of glove on it but not nearly enough to stop the Pakistan captain from scoring his first four.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondentFeeds: Firdose Moonda
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