Saturday, April 20, 2024

Roach and Kallis face off


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THERE was more controversy in the contentious third Digicel Test with a mid-pitch flare-up between Barbadian fast bowler Kemar Roach and South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis at Kensington Oval yesterday.As South Africa successfully chased a mere 47 runs for victory, a fired-up Roach struck the experienced Kallis on the peak of his helmet with a vicious bouncer which the batsman was unable to avoid as he took his eyes off the delivery.Roach followed through towards the batsman and the two glared at each other before a few words were exchanged. Kallis subsequently walked very closely towards where Roach was standing.It could not be ascertained whether he had brushed Roach, who was then pulled away by his teammate Shivnarine Chanderpaul, as the West Indies players and umpires Simon Taufel and Steve Davis intervened.An annoyed Kallis, who had come up to the bowler’s end, also gesticulated at Roach as tempers flared.At one stage, the umpires had a discussion with West Indies captain Chris Gayle when Roach, who took all three South African wickets to fall and also struck captain Graeme Smith on the grill of his helmet, was about to start another over.Kallis, who had also been struck by Roach in the second Test in St Kitts, remained scoreless for 15 deliveries, and at the completion of the match, offered to shake Roach’s hand but he initially refused and moved away.It was not until a few minutes later, that the two eventually shook hands, with Roach later hugging Kallis’ batting partner A.B. deVilliers as they left the field.On the previous day, South African fast bowler Dale Steyn appeared to spit in the vicinity of West Indies spinner Sulieman Benn. Gayle said the relationship between the teams had been very good before the final Test.“It was brilliant up until this last Test match but things started to get out of hand, so we had discussions with the umpires and match referee, so they will take the matter up to a next level if they have to,” he said.“This series has been a wonderful one. It is just unfortunate in the end that we have a bit of boil-up, but it’s cricket . . . and sometimes as a particular team, once you can give it out, you should take it. That’s how I look at it.“It wasn’t anything to take out of proportion. If anything needs to be dealt with, I’m sure the match referee and the on-field umpires will actually take that into play,” he added.Steyn, who was summoned to a meeting yesterday with match referee Jeff Crowe of New Zealand to answer charges brought against him for the unrelated incident with Benn, said such confrontations usually happen in the heat of the battle.“This is the game. That’s what’s going to happen in the game. Everybody seems to get caught up in the heat of the moment,” he said.


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