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Monday, April 5, 2021

Fakhar Zaman run out at Johannesburg and tweets against MI & Rohit Sharma !!

Followed this 2nd ODI, Johannesburg, Apr 4 2021 between hosts South Africa and Pakistan in Cricinfo.  It was a nail baiting finish boiling down to last over.  Pakistan chasing 342, came very close making 324/9 .. .. in that  first ball of the final over – the opener was run out and with him the hopes of Paki.  Fakhar Zaman was the man of the match but angry Pakis took to twitter trolling Quinton de kock and many of them spilled vitriolic against Mumbai Indians and Rohit Sharma too ..

The man - Pakistan opener batsman Fakhar Zaman smashed an  unbeaten 210-off 156-balls including 24-fours and 5-sixes with strike rate of 134.61 helping Pakistan post their record total of 399 against Zimbabwe in the fourth ODI. 4th ODI, Bulawayo, in July 2018.  He became the first Pakistani batsman to score 200 in One-day international cricket history and the sixth player to achieve this feat in ODIs.

Yesterday at Johannesburg, South Africa survived an astonishing onslaught from Fakhar Zaman to secure a series-levelling 17-run win against Pakistan in Johannesburg.  Zaman's 155-ball 193 was heroic, a one-man show in the truest sense of the word because no other Pakistani managed more than 31 in a chase of 342. It is the highest score in a chase in ODI cricket history, and the second highest ever in a losing cause. Zaman also surpassed Herchelle Gibbs' 175 to record the highest individual score at this venue.

After several stutters, South Africa did manage to get over the line, thanks to a commanding batting performance spearheaded by the top order. Captain Temba Bavuma top-scored with 92, while Quinton de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller each brought up half-centuries, allowing South Africa to post 341 in the face of a listless bowling effort from the visitors.

Pakistan were never really in the chase right until the final 15 overs; once Zaman brought up his first ODI hundred in two years, he would run riot. Despite finishing with the highest score by a Pakistani in ODI cricket in South Africa, it always looked like an unassailable task, and in truth, proved so by some distance in the end. Pakistan have never chased a total of this magnitude in ODI cricket, and a daunting challenge became even tougher when Imam-ul-Haq, fell in the second over.    The way he got run out, however, is what sparked the immense controversy flooding your social media feeds.

It boiled down to almost improbable 31 in the final over -  Zaman faced pacer Lungi Ndidi for the first ball. He hit the ball down his off-side, and ran for a double with Haris Rauf on the non-striker's end. As Zaman made his way back to his crease, wicketkeeper De Kock’s gesture suggested that the ball, being thrown by Aiden Markram, was headed for the non-striker's end. Zaman, with his back towards the ball, saw the gesture and slowed down considerably, only to be stunned as Markram’s direct hit cut his extraordinary innings just short of his highly anticipated second double century in ODI cricket.  Was it  naivety of the batter or cheating by the keeper ? !

Law 41.5.1 states: “It is unfair for any fielder wilfully to attempt, by word or action, to distract, deceive or obstruct either batsman after the striker has received the ball”

Fakhar Zaman, however,  took responsibility for his run-out saying it was "my own fault". However, Temba Bavuma, the South Africa captain, appeared to suggest that the gesticulating on the part of wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, which seemed to distract Zaman, was a deliberate act after all, calling it "quite clever".  The  direct hit from Aiden Markram from long-off caught him short of the crease at the striker's end, but   there was a question mark surrounding the legality of the dismissal, because de Kock was moving his arms about, possibly indicating that the throw from Markram might be going to the non-striker's end. He might, equally possibly, have been trying to communicate something to his team-mates. Zaman slowed down considerably, even turned around to look at the non-striker's end and was caught short.

Quinton de Kock did not intend to deceive Fakhar Zaman when the batsman was run out in the second ODI between Pakistan and South Africa, and is not in breach of Law 41.5.1 on fake fielding. That is the conclusion match officials are believed to have come to after reviewing footage of Sunday's match.   It is stated that   in a post-match meeting, which officials regularly have to discuss the game, match officials re-looked at the dismissal and on studying all frames, were happy that de Kock called "bowler's end," even before the first run was complete.   De Kock's actions were not deemed to have been a trick, with officials satisfied that he was indicating for the throw to go to the bowler's end even as it came in at his end.  Tabraiz Shamsi tweeted that de Kock was calling for a fielder to back up the throw at the non-striker's end.

Pakistan management is believed to have spoken to Andy Pycroft immediately after the incident, and drew his attention to the relevant law. That, it is believed, was not an official complaint as much as a reminder about the law and there appears to be an acceptance that the law is there for match officials to interpret and implement. Before that ball, Pakistan needed an unlikely 31 from six balls. They went on to lose by 17 runs, but if de Kock's act had been deemed illegal, Pakistan would have been allowed the two runs they attempted as well as five penalty runs, and the ball would have to be re-bowled, leaving them with 24 to get from six balls.

It wasn't the only point of contention towards the closing stages of the match. In the 47th over, Bavuma dropped a chance from Zaman, only for the ball to touch his hat, which had fallen off. The umpires didn't award any penalty runs, which is in line with the law (28.2.2), which states that it is "not illegal fielding if the ball in play makes contact with a piece of clothing, equipment or any other object which has accidentally fallen from the fielder's person".

In Dec 2013 at Dubai, in the 2nd ODI – Pak  were 157 for one in the 35th  over with Ahmed Shehzad batting at 80 with Mohammad Hafeez.  Shehzad played  Seekkuge Prasanna bowled towards cover and returned for two.  The throw came at Shehzad’s end and on his second run, Shehzad for a moment felt that he had misjudged the two. Sangakkara seemed to have collected the ball, in a swift action removed the bails ~  Shehzad dived desperately hurt himself  only to see the ball arrive much later.

Sangakkara had faked the take and stood their smiling mischievously, having fooled the Pakistani batsman. Shehzad was angry.   Pakistani physiotherapist came rushing in, with spray and tape to attend his injury that he sustained after diving. The batsman went on to score 124 in the end but Pakistan lost the match by two wickets, with Sangakkara top-scoring for Sri Lanka with 58. 

Queensland player Marnus Labuschagne became the first cricketer to be penalised 'fake fielding' under the new International Cricket Council (ICC) rules implemented from Sept  2017   The incident took place during a match between Queensland Bulls and Cricket Australia XI.   Labuschagne dived and tried to stop the ball hit by Cricket Australia XI batsman Param Uppal, but missed it completely. He tried to fool the batsman by faking a throw and umpires took action against him.

Before concluding the unwarranted ire against MI & Rohit was because – Quinton de kock plays for Mumbai Indians in IPL and Rohit Sharma is the only player to have scored more than 1 double century in a ODI. (He has 3 of them)

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


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