Match Report:


Pakistan denied 'fake fielding' penalty in tense finish

The role of Quinton de Kock in the dismissal of Fakhar Zaman stirs debate after the second ODI between South Africa and Pakistan

Pakistan were on the wrong side of a rare and contentious 'fake fielding' ruling during their tense 17-run loss to South Africa in Johannesburg.

Fakhar Zaman's scintillating 193 proved not quite enough for Pakistan, who lost the second one-day international at The Wanderers as the hosts levelled the three-game series.

But the final victory margin could have been much smaller had Pakistan been awarded five penalty runs in the final over of the run chase.

With Pakistan needing 31 runs to win from the last six balls, Fakhar was run out after South African wicketkeeper, Quinton de Kock, appeared to signal that a throw from the deep was heading to the bowler's end.

Fakhar then slowed down in the belief that the ball wasn't coming to his end, only for Aiden Markram's superb throw to hit the stumps at the keeper's end, catching Fakhar short of his ground.

Law 41.5.1 states that "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", meaning Pakistan would have been awarded five penalty runs had the umpires deemed de Kock's actions to be deliberate deception.

Fakhar, however, did not blame the Proteas gloveman.

"The fault was mine as I was too busy looking out for (non-striker) Haris Rauf at the other end as I felt he'd started off a little late from his crease, so I thought he was in trouble," he said.

"The rest is up to the match referee, but I don't think it's Quinton's fault."

South African skipper Temba Bavuma denied that de Kock's actions were against the rules

"It was quite clever from Quinny," he said.

"Maybe some people might criticise it for maybe not being in the spirit of the game. But it was an important wicket for us. Zaman was getting close to our target. Yeah, it was clever from Quinny.

"You've always got to look for ways especially when things are not going your way, got to find ways to turn momentum around. Quinny did that - I don't think he broke the rules in any kind of way. It was a clever piece of cricket."

The game's laws were changed in 2017 to cover all incidents of what is known as 'fake fielding', with Australian Marnus Labuschagne the first player to be penalised under the new rule.

Queensland fall foul of new 'fake fielding' regulations

Bavuma was at the centre of another contentious moment just two overs earlier when he dropped a catch offered by Fakhar, only for the ball to strike his hat, which had fallen from his head.

Law 28.2.1 states that a fielder "will be deemed to have fielded the ball illegally if, while the ball is in play he/she wilfully uses anything other than part of his/her person to field the ball".

However, Law 28.2.2 clarifies 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", meaning the umpires were correct in not awarding five penalty runs as Bavuma's action of losing his hat was not wilful.

Fakhar was left to do it all on his own on Sunday as Pakistan reached 9-324 in reply to South Africa's 6-341.

Image Id: EC8D09D5EAFB4854B71C61299BFA04DE Image Caption: Fakhar scored nearly 60 per cent of Pakistan's total // Getty

His power-hitting included 18 fours and 10 sixes for the record score in ODIs in a run chase and the highest ever at the Wanderers, beating the 175 by Herschelle Gibbs against Australia in 2006.

But Pakistan still fell short as Bavuma, who scored a superb 92 from 102 balls, enjoyed his first victory in his historic role as South Africa's first Black captain.

Fakhar's was the best score ever by a visiting player to South Africa, and what made it even more remarkable was that the next highest contribution in Pakistan's innings was 31 from captain Babar Azam.

The tourists had elected to field first and South Africa's impressive total was boosted by four fine half-centuries, each different in their make-up.

Bavuma warmed to his task as the innings wore on, while de Kock looked edgy and had luck in his 80 from 86 balls.

Rassie van der Dussen, who got a century in the first match in Pretoria on Friday, kept up his good form with a powerful 60 from 37 balls that included four sixes, before David Miller finished the innings with 50 not out from 27 balls.

Seamer Haris Rauf was comfortably the pick of the Pakistan bowlers with 3-54 from his 10 overs.

The third and final ODI is scheduled for Pretoria on Wednesday but South Africa will be without leading players De Kock, Miller, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje as they head to the Indian Premier League.

- additional reporting from Reuters

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