Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Spitting stain


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Fiery South African fast bowler Dale Steyn was expected to be hauled before match referee Jeff Crowe late yesterday afternoon over a spitting incident.
It involved West Indies spinner Sulieman Benn on the third day of the final Digicel Test between the teams at Kensington Oval.
Efforts to reach Crowe to ascertain whether he had held a hearing with Steyn were unsuccessful, but it is expected that the International Cricket Council (ICC) will issue a Press statement on the matter some time today.
Should Steyn be summoned to such a disciplinary hearing, he may be subjected to a fine or reprimand if he is found guilty of breaching the ICC’s Code of Conduct.
Shortly after being bowled by pacer Kemar Roach during South Africa’s first innings, Steyn appeared to spit as he walked past Benn, who had started to join his teammates in congratulating the bowler in mid-pitch.
Immediately after the incident, a clearly upset Benn was involved in an extended conversation with the on-field umpires, Australians Simon Taufel and Steve Davis.
Benn has been targeted by the South Africans throughout the three-match Test series in which he has put the visitors in the spin, taking 15 wickets, including a career-best six for 81 off 46.4 overs, which he completed yesterday.
Throughout his marathon bowl, Benn repeatedly had the South African batsmen under severe pressure with his probing left-arm spin. He also had a leg-before-wicket verdict against the experienced Jacques Kallis – which was initially given as out by standing umpire Simon Taufel – reversed after the batsman challenged it and asked for the television referral.
The footage showed that the ball would pass over the stumps, but Benn’s reaction suggested he wasn’t convinced.
Later in the same innings, Benn struck South African batsman A.B. deViliers in the back after fielding the ball on his follow-through and hurling it towards wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin after the batsman had advanced out of his crease.
Steyn returned to the field at the completion of the South African innings and dismissed the first three West Indian batsmen – Dale Richards, Narsingh Deonarine and captain Chris Gayle – in a hostile five-over spell of fast bowling.
West Indies will start the fourth day staring defeat in the face on 134 for seven in their second innings, just 19 runs on with three wickets in hand. South Africa lead the series 1-0.


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