South Africa v Pakistan, 2nd ODI, Port Elizabeth November 27, 2013

Akmal's painful knee, and the obstructed field

Plays of the Day from second ODI between South Africa and Pakistan, in Port Elizabeth

The shot
Ahmed Shehzad had played the pull, the drive, the cut and the sweep on his way to 50 but he had not brought out the big one until JP Duminy offered him the chance to. After watching Duminy's flight for the first over and taking advantage of it to smack him over third man for four, Shehzad met it with pure force in the second. He stepped down the track to heave Duminy over long-on for the first six of the innings.

The dismissal
Being given out for obstructing the field is a rarity, mostly because it requires a wilful attempt to "obstruct or distract the fielding side by word or action". There's not much time for preplanned manipulation in the heat of the game, and it did not seem to be what Anwar Ali was doing when he was given out. After playing and missing off Steyn, Anwar saw the opportunity to run through for a bye. Quinton de Kock threw the ball to non-striker's end and it hit Anwar on the shoulder. Steyn was heard on the stump mic complaining about Anwar running "straight down the pitch" and he was given out because the umpire's deemed he had changed his direction while running.

The disbelief
Before Pakistan had time to digest that decision, they had another one to shake their heads about as Akmal was given out caught behind off the next ball. He reached for a full Steyn delivery outside off and when de Kock collected, both he and Steyn went up. Akmal reviewed the umpire's decision and there was a distinct sound as the ball passed the bat - deemed as enough evidence to uphold the on-field decision - but Akmal remained in disbelief while Steyn celebrated five.

The wasted review
Mohammad Hafeez was convinced he had Hashim Amla out lbw when the South African opener played late and was hit in front. He wanted the review as soon as the ball thudded onto the pad and started signalling for it before remembering he was not the captain and Misbah-ul-Haq would have to make that call. Misbah was reluctant and held out a hand to calm Hafeez down before consulting with Akmal, who said he thought it pitched outside off. Hafeez was adamant it had not and Misbah decided to go with the senior man and send the decision upstairs. As it turned out, the ball had pitched outside the line, Amla was not out and Misbah was taught not to trust a bowler who wants a referral.

The pain
Runs were coming easily for South Africa and Pakistan needed something to inspire them. Shahid Afridi provided the nifty fielding that can effect a run-out when he swooped in from backward point to collect the ball after Hashim Amla glanced it that way off Hafeez. Afridi fired at the striker's end but instead of hitting the target, he hit Akmal on the knee. The ball rolled off the wicketkeeper and onto the stumps, and was followed by a yelp from Akmal. It was part painful scream, part appeal, and not out anyway.

18.00GMT, November 27: This article had originally said Umar Akmal had lost his boot. This has been removed.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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