Du Plessis gets away with 50% fine; Ajmal chided for dissent

South Africa’s Faf du Plessis was fined 50 per cent of his match fee after being summoned for ball tampering during the second Test against Pakistan in Dubai, the International Cricket Council said Saturday.

The South African team were penalised five runs and umpires ordered the ball to be changed on the third day of the Test.

Match referee David Boon of Australia summoned Du Plessis on Friday.

“Du Plessis is fined 50 percent of his match fee after breaching ICC code of conduct on Friday, “ the ICC said.

Ajmal reprimanded

Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal was Saturday handed an official reprimand after pleading guilty to using abusive language and gestures during the second Test against South Africa in Dubai.

“Ajmal pleaded guilty to a Level 1 breach of the ICC Code of Conduct during the third day’s play on Friday,” the International Cricket Council (ICC) said.

Ajmal, 36, was found to have breached an article of the code of conduct which relates to “using language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting during an international match”.

“The incident happened when Ajmal, after dismissing South Africa batsman Morne Morkel, turned to the umpire and repeatedly appealed even though the batsman had been caught at first slip by Younis Khan.

“Ajmal’s appeal for a caught behind off the previous delivery had been turned down so the bowler’s actions after taking the wicket were considered insulting towards the umpire, which contravenes the ICC Code of Conduct,” the ICC said.

Ajmal took 6-151 in South Africa’s total of 517.

Pakistan resumed the fourth day (Saturday) facing a heavy defeat at 132-4.

Earlier on Friday, the South African team were penalised five runs and umpires ordered the ball to be changed on the third day of the Test.

South Africa media officer Lerato Malekutu confirmed to AFP that Du Plessis was the player summoned by match referee David Boon of Australia.

“The hearing took place Friday night and we will have an outcome on Saturday,” said the official.

He was charged under Level 2 offence in which the minimum punishment is 50-100 per cent of player’s match fee and/or two suspension points, which translates as a suspension of one test, two ODIs or two Twenty20s.

South Africa vice-captain AB de Villiers Friday denied the ball-tampering allegations.

“Honestly, we’re not the team that scratches the ball,” de Villiers said.

“We don’t cheat, it’s as simple as that. I know Faffy very well, he’s the last man to try anything like that.”

De Villiers said du Plessis was given the task to look after the shine on the ball.

“It’s not an easy job, I thought he did it very well,” de Villiers said.

Pakistan appeared to be on the verge of defeat in the second Test after South Africa out-batted them and then bowled well on the third day in Dubai on Friday.

South Africa, seeking a series-levelling win, once again rocked Pakistan’s top order with three early wickets after compiling a mammoth 517 in their first innings for a big 418-run lead at Dubai stadium.

It’s also only the second time in the history of test cricket that 5 penalty runs were awarded to any team for ball tampering.

Pakistan was at the receiving end during the Oval test in 2006, the last and only time a team was penalised five runs for ball tampering in a test match.

Then Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq reacted strongly and decided not to continue the test in protest.

Australia umpire Darrell Hair reacted by awarding the game to England, the only forfeit in the history of test cricket.

This month, the ICC amended its laws regarding the condition of balls, saying ”if a player responsible can be identified” the ball will be changed, a five-run penalty will be awarded, and the player responsible will be reported.

Source: Agencies