Pakistan v South Africa, 4th ODI, Abu Dhabi November 8, 2013

When Afridi turned captain

Plays of the day from the fourth ODI between Pakistan and South Africa in Abu Dhabi

Drop of the day
Quinton de Kock has Mohammad Hafeez to thank for the part he played in helping the 20-year-old notch up his maiden international century. De Kock's old weakness outside the off stump combined with his youthful impatience was exposed by Sohail Tanvir at the beginning of the fourth over. Tanvir offered a good-length ball with a bit of width, de Kock flashed and edged but Hafeez at first slip, spilled the ball as he tried to take it with fingers pointing upwards. De Kock was on 2 at the time and made the most of his opportunity, going on to record his first ton on the biggest stage. 

Pushiness of the day
Shahid Afridi used to be Pakistan's captain but isn't any more and he seemed to forget that in a moment of excitement when he was convinced he had Faf du Plessis lbw. The slider rapped the No. 3 on the front pad but Afridi's exuberant appeal was turned down. Without waiting to see what anyone else thought, Afridi began signally for a review, making the T-shaped sign every which way he could. Misbah-ul-Haq was considering what to do as Afridi persisted with the gesture and eventually his hand was forced into sending the decision upstairs. Replays showed the ball clipping the outside of leg stump and the umpire's call standing. 

Shot of the day
Ryan McLaren's lower-order hitting does not get much recognition but he starred yet again, in a 52-run stand with JP Duminy to push South Africa over 250. His best shot came off the last ball when Tanvir missed the yorker and the length was McLaren's steering wheel to drive. He got underneath the ball and smacked it through extra cover with merciless timing to end South Africa's innings with force. 

Words of the day
Dale Steyn enjoys getting the better of Hafeez, perhaps partly because he has done so on so many occasions. He did not get the opportunity to get stuck into Hafeez in the previous match because Steyn was not given the new ball. So when he was this time, he took the chance to make the Pakistan opener feel uncomfortable, even though Hafeez did not face him at first. Steyn was "non-abusive", in the words of the commentator, with Hafeez immediately after the one ball Hafeez faced in Steyn's second over but before he could continue the conversation, the umpires stumped in and told Steyn to pipe down.

Wicketkeeper in fielder's clothing
One of the arguments against de Villiers keeping wickets is founded on his ability to contribute in the field and he showed why that was the case today. When Hafeez nudged the ball to him in the covers, de Villiers gathered quickly and threw almost as he picked it up to de Kock. Shehzad tried to beat the throw and almost did but his bat bounced in the air to find him short of his crease. Pakistan lost their first wicket through mere carelessness and one fielder's unmatched ability to anticipate.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments