Pakistan v South Africa, 5th ODI, Sharjah November 11, 2013

Irfan bounced out

Plays of the day from the fifth ODI between Pakistan and South Africa in Sharjah

(Un)lucky number three
A first inside-edge may leave a batsmen feeling nervous. Like when Quinton de Kock tried to cut Mohammad Irfan and almost played the ball onto his own stumps. A second, even more so, but still de Kock survived, and also collected a four for good measure. By the time the third comes, the fielding side can consider themselves unlucky. After two French cuts, de Kock had a third, off Sohail Tanvir. All of them, miraculously, missed the stumps.

Rapid AB
AB de Villiers was on 97 going into the last over but Wayne Parnell was facing the first ball. After his partner hit a boundary off the first ball, de Villiers was anxious to get on strike. When Parnell beat the point fielder with his next shot, de Villiers called him through for three runs. De Villiers had to race against the throw to make his ground, but had his skates on as he fell mid-stride. He dived in vain at the striker's end, with bat at full stretch to ensure he was well in his crease by the time Umar Akmal took the bails off. Having survived, de Villiers brought up three figures off the next ball.

Flying AB
De Villiers had already led the batting effort but he was ready to do his part in the field as well. When a Lonwabo Tsotsobe delivery leaped up to take the shoulder of Mohammad Hafeez's bat, the ball ballooned over second slip where de Villiers was stationed. He moved backwards, stuck his hand out and put in a jump to try and pluck the ball from the sky. For all his dedication, de Villiers could only get his fingers to it, but the ball spilled out when his arm struck the ground again, and Hafeez got away.

The unlikely cricket enthusiast
Dead rubbers between two teams who will meet again in a return tour (two Twenty20s followed by three ODIs) that starts later this month are not exactly the biggest crowd-pullers and the numbers in the stadium were evidence of that. But there was someone who was interested in the action. A caramel-coloured pigeon was on the field for large periods of the Pakistan innings, and had to be shooed off on numerous occasions. He hung around at the boundary rope and was distracting some of the fielders to the point where Ahmed Shehzad had to wave him away in energetic fashion. Later, one of the members of the academy was spotted cradling the pigeon as the match drew to a close.

Misbah unplugged
Tired of tuk-tuking along, Misbah-ul-Haq played the shot of the match off just his seventh ball. Tsotsobe bowled it full, outside off, Misbah got underneath it, cleared the front foot, and lofted it over mid-off. The ball traveled high and far, crashing into the stand near the commentary box before bouncing back into the field. Even Misbah has an aggressive side.

Irfan is bounced
The game was meandering to a foregone conclusion when a bit of spicy fast bowling from Parnell made people sit up and take notice. Irfan, at 7 ft 1in, would be the last person you would expect to be bounced out, his lackluster skills with the bat notwithstanding. But Parnell tested the middle of the pitch and made the ball rise towards Irfan's head. The tail-ender fended it away as best he could, but the ball skied in the air and Hashim Amla back-pedalled from first slip to collect a safe catch. The wicket had no bearing on the eventual result, but was another example of the strange things that can happen on a cricket field.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • roman06 on November 12, 2013, 17:23 GMT

    I love Pakistan cricket team but what are they doing? They have no game plan, no batting plan; they are not intelligent batsman in Pakistan cricket team. All are irresponsible. In one day international cricket match 300 hundred plus is simple issue but they are not chase 150 or 180 run properly but why? As usual Pakistani batting line up is very poor. Recently India and Australia finished there series , India win this series 4-5, it could be best example for Pakistan how you will chase 300 plus run .India batting line up is very strong and well discipline, from any kind of situation they can win for batting line up. All are Pakistani cricket fan are very worried and boring!! Because they are losing every match easily for batting line up, when against tem doing 250 runs plus all are fan dam sure they are going to lose. Please involve quality batsman and watch India cricket for any example batting, fielding, and commitment.

  • dummy4fb on November 12, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    Watch Afridi and Hafeez being rested and Younis and Kamran Akmal come back. The roles will be reversed again inthe series after. In and Out but te same tried and tired faces.

  • Sorcerer on November 12, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    I always knew Whatmore would be a complete disaster for Pakistan! He took over after Pakistan swamped England 3-0 in UAE Test Series and look where we stand now. Even at the time he was being hired, many national team players expressed displeasure as the man had badmouthed the Pak team and its players especially Shoaib, whilst he was coaching Sri Lanka. Nothing but a mercenary, this is the guy who despite being the coach of Bangladesh team, during the contract, without their consent, applied for a job with the Indian team some years ago! The sooner he leaves Pakistan team, the better as his contribution has been zilch.

  • dummy4fb on November 12, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    get rid of unwanted misbah.this formate doesn't suit him at all.he is problem for the team.I grauntee he scores for himself not for team.he doesn't know how to take single.pathatic.other players through their wikets bkz of his slow tuktuk.hafeez should be playing at no 7 not as an opner.My team, shahzad,nasar,asad,sohaib,u.akmal,shoiab malik,hafeezafridi,ajmal,razaq,irfan and for t20 and one place for misbah.

  • Sorcerer on November 12, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    Can a fast bowler bowl bouncers to a Number 11 who is bereft of even basic defending skills? I thought law was amended more than a decade and a half ago ago to outlaw this practice, as when Aqib bounced Devon Malcolm, he was warned by Shepherd.

  • dummy4fb on November 12, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    there is so much talent in the country.........remove the leeches (misbah and Co)replace them with talented players who have no connections

  • Behind_the_Wicket on November 12, 2013, 8:22 GMT

    Pakistan should Bring back Imran Nazir , Sharjeel Khan , Sami Aslam , Hamad Azam , Raza Hassan in T20 squad. Drop Umar Amin , Shahid Afridi , Nasir Jamshaid , Asad Shafique in Sohail Tanveer from recent T20 Squad.

  • Sagay-Ed on November 12, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    "AB de Villiers was on 97 going into the last over but Wayne Parnell was facing the first ball. After his partner hit a boundary off the first ball, de Villiers was anxious to get on strike." - and they say only the Indians are interested in personal landmarks.

  • dummy4fb on November 12, 2013, 3:20 GMT

    Umar Akmal has not lived up to his potential. He seemed destined for much bigger things. But lately he continues to fail with the bat, time and time again. Maybe its time to try someone else. Pakistan never had such a weak batting line-up. The players are consistent failures. Still the selectors stick with failures like Afridi, Hafeez and now we hear they are bringing Saeed Malik as well. This team is determined to fail. The faces never change and neither does their dismal performance. In these two areas at least, they are most CONSISTENT.