Pakistan legend Shoaib Akhtar says South Africa’s Quinton de Kock did not act in the spirit of the game during the Proteas’ 17-run win over Pakistan on Sunday.
South Africa won the Pink ODI at the Wanderers to level the three-match series 1-1 heading into tomorrow’s decider.
But Pakistan fans aren’t too impressed by their hosts.
And the incident that left them bitterbek took place in the last over of a tense ODI on Sunday.
SA batted first and posted 342/6, with captain Temba Bavuma top-scoring with 92.
Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman then made a match of it with a thrilling innings.
Zaman was on 192 not out entering the final over, with Pakistan needing 31 runs for the win.
Having smashed 10 sixes and 18 fours in an innings Bavuma described as the “best I’ve seen or come across”, Pakistan fans still had hope as long as Fakhar was at the crease.
But then he struck the first ball of the last over to Aiden Markram at long off and turned for a econd without looking at the fielder.
Looking straight ahead, Fakhar slowed down when Proteas wicketkeeper De Kock pointed towards the non-striker’s end – indicating that the ball would be thrown to that side – only for Markram’s throw to hit the stumps.
Fakhar was run out for 193 and Pakistan’s hopes dashed.
Law 41.5.1 in the rule book 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.”
And the debate started, with ex-Pakistan fast bowler Akhtar saying in a Twitter video: “I wouldn’t call it cheating, but I won’t call it good spirit of the game.”
What a master inning by @FakharZamanLive. Treat to watch. Single handedly brought the game here.— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) April 4, 2021
Sad end to the inning. Deserved a 200.
Was the spirit of the game compromised by South Africa & @QuinnyDeKock69 in that run out??
Full review: https://t.co/bi2f2Qgxij#PAKvSA pic.twitter.com/7Uvt8Ovhpn
A poll ran by Akhtar revealed that 56 percent of the 48 592 fans that voted agreed that “it left a bad taste”.
Bavuma, though, believes it was a clever bit of cricket from his keeper, quoted by Cricinfo as saying: “I don’t think he broke the rules in any kind of way. It was a clever piece of cricket.
“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.”
Fakhar agrees, saying: “The fault was mine as I was too busy looking out for Haris [Rauf] as I felt he’d started off late from his crease, so I thought he was in trouble. The rest is up to the match referee.
“I don’t think it’s Quinton’s fault... it was my own fault.”