Zimbabwe v Pakistan, only Test, Bulawayo, 3rd day September 3, 2011

Blunders in the field

Plays of the Day from the third day of the Bulawayo Test between Zimbabwe and Pakistan

Blunders of the day
Mohammad Hafeez had already been let off once in his innings, when he was dropped on 11 by Brendan Taylor at slip on the first day. Early on the second morning, Hafeez survived another chance. Chris Mpofu was the culprit this time. Hafeez played a full delivery back to Mpofu, who should have taken the catch in his follow through, but somehow allowed the ball to pop out of his hands. Vusi Sibanda was guilty of the next gaffe, spilling a catch at midwicket off Misbah-ul-Haq. He was on 2 at the time and finished on 66. The third error was Craig Ervine's fault. He was standing at forward short leg when Younis Khan fended a ball off his glove in his direction. He couldn't get down in time to take it.

Save of the day
Tino Mawoyo must have had the good sleep he was after last night, because he pulled off the best piece of fielding today. It was probably the time of day when players are likely to be most sluggish - just after lunch - but Mawoyo was anything but lazy. Younis Khan played across the line to whip a Greg Lamb delivery past mid-on. Mawoyo chased the ball to the boundary and pulled it in with his fingertips as he crashed over the line and into the advertising boards. Tatenda Taibu was watching Mawoyo from behind the stumps and he jumped up and down, throwing his arms up in irritation until he realised the run had been saved.

Shot of the day
The small crowd groaned when Misbah joined Younis Khan at the crease, anticipating an abundance of forward defensives. When Misbah displayed five, perfect blocks, the groans got louder. A long afternoon lay in wait. After a streaky four that evaded leg gully, Misbah decided to silence the dissidents with a boundary that left most gobsmacked. Lamb was bowling reasonable line but Misbah fetched one from outside off stump and slog-swept it over midwicket. It was high and far, easily the biggest shot of the day and the innings, and was followed up with a repeat, which bounced once before crossing the boundary.

Sideshow of the day
There was plenty to watch besides the cricket on a day when run accumulation was structured but slow, like the way the Queens Sports Club was readying itself to be a wedding reception venue this evening. Deep pink drapes were being laid over the tables, and a sign pointing to the "reception entrence" (spelt that way) was being written. Inside the commentators resting room, Kepler Wessels was lying on floor, suffering from food poisoning and taking some time out between stints. The most interesting sideshow, however, was up on the pavilion roof, where Alistair Campbell was playing a game of cards with his young sons and Dirk Viljoen. The boys were cleaning up when Campbell jokingly spilled the cards and they had to start again. Zimbabwe's bowlers will be wishing they could do the same.

Despairing moment of the day
After putting down three catches and taking one, Zimbabwe had plenty to chastise themselves for. When the day's most difficult chance presented itself, as play wound to a close, Brendan Taylor's desperate attempt at catching it summed up the toil in the field. Umar Akmal tried to drive Brian Vitori through covers but edged towards the vacant third slip area. Taylor dived to his left from second, got fingertips to it, but his effort came to nothing.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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  • Dummy4 on September 3, 2011, 18:06 GMT

    "Sideshow of the day" just too good, superbly written, loved reading it.

  • Dummy4 on September 3, 2011, 17:30 GMT

    i have ben reading comentary feed backs about azhar patience & strik rate. i think he is doing good but still need to score atleast at rate of 50. as we have seen he has played 190+ balls many time in his short career but couldnt make 100 coz his patience broke each time. today he faced 193 balls & scored 75 only. this way he will not be able to make a 100 unless he plays more than 250 bals. dont hit 4 or 6 on each ball but atleast take singles here and then40-45 strike rate isnt too dificult to do on such flat pitch.

  • Dummy4 on September 3, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    well umars wicket was realy a bounas & now IF there was any chance left for pak to build big lead is vanished & draw imenent unless ZIM bold pak out within these 50 runs. scoring 2.5 /over is not good from pakistan. Okay i am not saying they should slog aur score 50 in 50 balls but strike rate of 30s from azhar & younis was too slow they both played 190+ balls & score 75 & 61*. they should have atlease score at 40-45 & tht could have given 20/25 runs each. no body saying to hit four or six each ball but on flat pitch 1 should also make atleast 50 strike rate. now pak should score quickly & buil as much as lead posible then try luck by bowling ZIM out

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