<
>

Long waits for Rafatullah and Plunkett

Liam Plunkett impressed on his return to the side Getty Images

Debut of the day

Rafatullah Mohmand has waited a long time for his international debut. A batsman who started his career nearly two decades ago, he became so frustrated with his lack of opportunity with Pakistan that he briefly considered attempting to qualify for Afghanistan instead. He came close, in 2006, he made the A team to tour Australia, but when that came to nothing, he contemplated retirement. But then he enjoyed a prolific domestic T20 tournament in 2015 and, with his fitness still excellent and Pakistan suffering illness and injury to other players, he became, at 39 years and 20 days, the oldest debutant in international T20 cricket. His innings, where he looked a little discomforted by the pace and short-pitched bowling of the England attack, did not quite go as planned, but this was still a special day for him.

Shot of the day

There was a time when a full length ball outside off stump could be considered a safe option for a bowler. Not anymore. For the second game in a row, Wahab Riaz found himself up against a young, English wicketkeeper-batsman capable of making his good balls look poor and capable of conjuring run-scoring opportunities from almost nothing. Perhaps the most impressive stoke of Sam Billings' brilliant half-century was a scoop for six over fine leg from a Wahab delivery that was about a yard outside off stump. Moving a long way across his stumps, Billings had the time and timing to punish the placement of fine leg inside the circle. Wahab, who bowled beautifully, could be forgiven for wondering what more he could do. Billings went on to register his half-century from 24 balls. Only Ravi Bopara has made a quicker one in T20I cricket for England.

Drop of the day

The drop did not cost Pakistan much, but it is one that Sohail Tanvir may wince when he recalls for years to come. Alex Hales was on one when, attempting to turn a delivery into the leg side, he could only get a leading edge and saw the ball balloon back to the bowler. Sohail's first reaction was fine: he stuck out a hand and parried the ball up into the air to enable him to have another go at the ball. But his second move, with the catch now as easy as any he can have been offered in his international career, was most unfortunate. With his studs sticking in the pitch, Sohail stumbled and, instead of taking the ball in his hands, took it on his shoulder before it thudded to earth.

Recall of the day

Liam Plunkett has been something of an invisible man for England on this tour. He did not feature in any of the Tests or any of the ODIs and was recently informed that he had been dropped from the squad for the tour to South Africa. But here, nine-and-a-half years after his only previous T20I experience - he played against Sri Lanka in Southampton in June 2006 - he was recalled with the possibility of forcing his way into the World T20 squad. He took one good catch in the deep and impressed with his pace in a spell where he was clocked in excess of 90mph that not only made a couple of the Pakistan batsmen look uncomfortable, but suggested that he has probably been unfortunate to wait so long for another appearance.

Run out of the day Run outs have become so familiar to Pakistan's batting in limited-overs cricket that reports of another one will come as no surprise. But, even by the standards of Pakistan in recent times, the mix-up between Umar Akmal and Sohaib Maqsood was comical. Umar, having pulled a ball into the leg side, set off for a run only to see Sohaib take a couple of few steps down the wicket before turning back and attempting to regain his ground. Umar, committed to the single, made no attempt to regain his own ground, but instead attempted to beat Sohaib to the non-striker's end. Amusing, perhaps, but also damaging and a scenario that said little for the communication out in the middle or the spirit in the dressing room.