x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

The South African punished after pleading guilty to offence that was caught on TV camera during the third day of the second Test in Dubai.

DUBAI // Faf du Plessis has been fined 50 per cent of his match fee for unfairly manipulating the condition of the ball in the second Test between South Africa and Pakistan.

The Proteas batsman pleaded guilty to the offence at a hearing after the third day’s play, and was subsequently fined by the ICC match referee David Boon.

The incident took place in the 31st over of Pakistan’s second innings when du Plessis was seen on television rubbing the ball near the zip of his trouser pocket.

The TV umpire alerted the on-field officials, who alerted Graeme Smith, South Africa’s captain, then awarded five penalty runs to Pakistan and reported du Plessis.

“I am satisfied that the player’s actions warranted the umpires applying clause 42.1.1 of the ICC Test Match Playing Conditions,” Boon was quoted as saying in an ICC statement.

“After discussions with Mr du Plessis, he has elected not to contest that charge.

“I am also satisfied that this was not part of a deliberate and/or prolonged attempt to unfairly manipulate the condition of the ball, and that the imposition of a fine of 50 per cent of his match fee is appropriate considering the circumstances.”

Pakistan were also censured after a rancorous third day at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, which also saw two supporters thrown out for verbally abusing the players.

Saeed Ajmal, Pakistan’s off-spinner, received an official reprimand after pleading guilty to “using language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting”.

After dismissing Morne Morkel, Ajmal turned to the umpire Ian Gould and repeatedly appealed, even though the batsman had been caught at first slip by Younis Khan.

His 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.

pradley@thenational.ae