A decision on the walk, and Sami returns short and wide

Plays of the Day from the second ODI between Pakistan and Zimbabwe, in Lahore

Sidharth Monga
Sidharth Monga
Chamu Chibhabha is ecstatic after trapping Sarfraz Ahmed in front, Pakistan v Zimbabwe, 2nd ODI, Lahore, May 29, 2015

Sweet justice for Chamu Justice Chibhabha  •  AFP

The decision
Actually not the decision but the way it came about. Hamilton Masakadza went to reverse-sweep Yasir Shah, was beaten in the flight, and the ball lobbed up, leading to a loud appeal for a catch. The umpire, Shozab Raza, weighed the appeal patiently, began to move away from his mark, which is usually a sign the batsman has survived the appeal, but raised his finger even as he shuffled away. Masakadza looked on perplexed and walked. The replays actually suggested a close affair: the bat hit the ground creating the misleading noise, but the ball lobbed off the general area around the wrist band on the glove. Only better pictures or technology could have shown whether it hit the wrist band or the forearm.
The near freak run-out
In the 36th over of Zimbabwe's innings, Richmond Mutumbami did everything right by modern cricket standards. Off an inside edge towards short fine leg, he didn't wait to see where the ball went. He went by the non-striker's call, put his head down and ran, and then tried to slide his bat in. Except that the bat got stuck in the ground just before the crease, and to his horror Wahab Riaz's throw hit the stumps direct. The replays showed his foot land behind the crease just half a frame before the bail came off.
The revenge
During the Zimbabwe innings, it was arguably a long and persistent appeal from Sarfraz Ahmed that brought about a dubious out verdict against Chamu Chibhabha. Pakistan's opening partnership was going swimmingly when Chibhabha was brought on to bowl in the ninth over. In his first over he got Sarfraz out, and fittingly it was a 50-50 lbw call. Sarfraz, looking to play his trademark sweep against medium-pacers, was hit in front all right, but was a long way down the pitch, which would have made it difficult for the umpire to predict the path of the ball.
The Sami comeback
Mohammad Sami, a surprise choice for a comeback to international cricket, has been reprising his career in capsule form in these one-day matches. In the first ODI, he bowled a good first spell - 4-0-18-1 - before starting two new spells with balls short and wide and going for fours first ball on both occasions. Sure enough, he had another good start in this game too, a first spell of 5-1-17-0, but when he came back for the second, predictably he bowled the first ball short and wide. This time, though, he wasn't hit for a four although he did manage to concede 36 in his last four overs. Perhaps they can get him to bowl all 10 at the top?

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo