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Plays of the day from the first T20 between Pakistan and South Africa in Dubai
November 13, 2013
Hashim Amla takes a stunner
Quick reactions from an unlikely suspect
It wasn't AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, David Miller or JP Duminy - one of the South Africans with the ability to move on instinct - who was stationed at slip. Instead, it was Hashim Amla who was asked to do the job, in the absence of a regular slip fielder such as Graeme Smith or Henry Davids. He may not have expected he'd be made to work in the first over but when Ahmed Shehzad drove without dancing, he was. Amla had to move quickly to his left to take the catch. He showed he could do the job as well as any of the more agile members of the team and safely grabbed the first wicket.
Boom Boom arrives
What to do at 0 for 1 inside the first over? Send in the man who sees the ball's only purpose as a punching bag and wants to hit it as far as he can no matter what the situation. Perhaps the thinking behind promoting Shahid Afridi was to give their biggest hitter maximum time at the crease. Whatever it was, Boom Boom strode in at No. 3 to rapturous applause but didn't get the chance to do much before this happened...
Steyn gets his man
It could be a comedy skit, one of those that repeats over and over again and is funny simply because it happens so often. Mohammad Hafeez versus Dale Steyn and only one winner. Steyn had already got rid of Sohaib Maqsood and his eye lit up when he saw his old friend arrive at the crease. Hafeez managed to defend the first one but could not control the second. Without moving his feet, he offered a simple catch to Quinton de Kock. Steyn celebrated with his usual fierceness, Hafeez hung his head and that made it the 12th time in 18 innings Steyn had his man.
Malik makes a mess of it
As if Pakistan had not been embarrassed enough by their start, Shoaib Malik ensured they'd also have something to blush about in the middle order. He walked down the track to Imran Tahir, who pitched the ball so far outside off, it was called wide, and could not get back to his crease in time to avoid being stumped.
And it went wrong in the field as well
Pakistan had the opportunity to cause early damage to South Africa when Amla chased the first ball he was presented with. He edged off Hafeez and sent the catch Maqsood's way. He was at first slip and seemed to be caught by surprise by the chance. He hardly moved and let Amla get off the mark and South Africa's chase underway.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondentFeeds: Firdose Moonda
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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After the tragedy of Phillip Hughes' death, this match showed that cricket and life will continue to go on. This time Test cricket dug in and got through to tea.
Virat Kohli's innings on the final day transcended the conditions, the bowlers and his batting partners, and when it was all in vain, he displayed remarkable grace in defeat
The new stand-in captain has the makings of a long-term leader, given his ability to stay ahead of the game
Both batsmen seemingly have buckets of talent at their disposal and the backing of their captains, but soft dismissals relentlessly follow both around the Test arena
The failed gamble of handing Karn Sharma a Test debut despite him having a moderate first-class record means India have to rethink who their spinner will be
Turning your back on a system that the whole cricketing world wants a discussion on, refusing to discuss it because it is not 100%, is not good enough
After a long time we have seen an Indian team and captain enjoy the challenge of trying to overcome stronger opposition in an overseas Test