x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

De Villiers continues ball row

De Villiers is still seething with England fast bowler Stuart Broad for standing on the ball with his spikes and hit out at his side's management for not taking the matter further.

CAPE TOWN // AB de Villiers re-ignited the England ball-tampering row last night despite his side's refusal to lodge an official complaint with the International Cricket Council (ICC). The Proteas are closing in on a series-levelling victory, with England trailing by 334 runs with just seven wickets left and 90 overs to survive today. But De Villiers is still seething with England fast bowler Stuart Broad for standing on the ball with his spikes on Tuesday and hit out at his side's management for not taking the matter further.

"There should have been a formal complaint because the ball reversed after that and there was still quite clearly a bit out of the ball after he stepped on it," fumed the South African batsman. "It's not the first time it's happened. It's a little bit naughty. I wouldn't say he deserves to be banned, but it needs to be looked at. "We all like to get the ball to reverse and swing all over the place but as long as you do it in a legal way that's fine. The tension's been there since Kingsmead when they won the second Test," admitted De Villiers. "There was more than enough tension going into this game because we don't like losing in our own country."

England face a massive challenge to preserve their series lead after collapsing from 101 without loss to 132 for three. "We're 100 per cent confident we've done nothing wrong," insisted Alastair Cook who fell for 55, before Andrew Strauss (45) and Kevin Pietersen (six) joined him in the pavilion. "We're glad the matter's closed." He added: "We've got to take a lot of confidence from the situations we've been in - at Cardiff and the first Test here - where we've managed to scrape draws and we have the fighters to do that so hopefully we can do it one more time." @Email:sports@thenational.ae