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South Africa penalised five runs for ball tampering

Dubai: It was a day the rules of the game were strictly implemented at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. The third day of the second Test between Pakistan and South Africa saw South Africa penalised five runs for tampering with the ball, while two spectators were ejected for breaking the International Cricket Council (ICC) Anti-Racism Code.

The ICC confirmed that South Africa had been penalised for ball tampering. The incident happened in the 31st over of the Pakistan innings when umpires replaced the ball and fined South Africa five penalty runs for ball tampering. Television images appeared to show South African fielder Faf du Plessis rubbing the ball against a zipper of his trouser pocket. The umpires were on Friday night due to decide whether to lay a charge after close of play and a subsequent hearing is likely into the incident. As of now, the South Africa team has been deemed to have broken rule 42.1 of the ICC’s playing conditions.

The level-two offence of changing the condition of the ball carries a fine of 50 to 100 per cent of match fees or a ban of one Test, two one-day games or two Twenty20 games, whichever comes first.

Pakistan are the only other team to have been penalised with five penalty runs, during the infamous Oval Test against England in 2006.

It may be recalled that at the time, Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq had walked off the field in reaction to Australian umpire Darrell Hair’s decision. Hair then ruled that Pakistan had forfeited the match — the only such instance in Test cricket history.

Former Pakistan pacemen Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar, allrounder Azhar Mahmoud and leg-spinner Shahid Afridi have been banned for tampering in the past.

India’s Sachin Tendulkar and England’s Mike Atherton were also suspended and fined for tampering.