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Pakistan hit by ball-tampering row
Tony Lawrence | August 20, 2006 22:13 IST
The touring side, well placed for a face-saving win after taking a massive 331 first-innings lead, appeared to be shocked during the fourth afternoon when umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove ruled that the ball should be changed.
Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq became embroiled in a heated exchange with the umpires before the England batsmen at the crease, Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood, were allowed to choose a replacement ball.
At tea, prompted by bad light, England were on 298 for four in their second innings, still 33 runs short of making Pakistan bat again.
The incident cast a shadow over a game which Pakistan are desperate to win after England made sure of clinching the series with victories in the second and third Tests.
There had been no prior warning from the umpires over the state of the ball.
A spokesman for the International Cricket Council said he was not aware of the five-run penalty for ball tampering ever being applied during a Test before, although several individual players have been sanctioned for changing the state of the ball.
The home team, skittled for 173 in their first innings before Pakistan had amassed 504, had resumed on 78 for one.
They lost Andrew Strauss for 54 in the morning after the England captain had put on 107 with Alastair Cook for the second wicket.
Strauss played a string of fine cuts before he played at leg spinner Danish Kaneria and was given out lbw to a ball which appeared to have hit his pad outside off stump.
Fellow left-hander Cook led a charmed life -- he was given not out off the fourth ball of the day from Kaneria after a huge appeal for a catch off pad and bat, bowled by a no ball and then dropped on 47 -- before he was dismissed for 83 when Umar Gul sent down a perfect yorker.
He and Pietersen put on 103 together, taking the score to 218 for three. Pietersen then lit up the day with 96 runs flayed off 114 deliveries.
The ball tampering incident appeared to send him into overdrive. He slog-swept Kaneria for six and then smashed Mohammad Hafeez's first ball back over the bowler's head.
Needing a boundary to get to three figures, however, he slashed at a short, wide ball from Shahid Nazir and Kamran Akmal took a fine one-handed catch.
The ball was 56 overs old at the time of the controversy. Gul had bowled the previous over.
The laws of the game state that teams can be penalised five runs if a member of the fielding side is found to have changed the state of the ball unfairly. Playing regulations say the batsmen at the crease may then choose a replacement ball.
Test umpires make frequent inspections of the ball during matches to try and combat tampering.
Raising the seam of an old ball or gouging out parts of the leather surface can help it to seam and swing.
Ball tampering allegations have blighted England-Pakistan series before. In 1992 the English press raised questions over the ability of Pakistan pace bowlers Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis to swing the old ball. Reverse swing, which allows the ball to swing in the opposite direction expected, has since become an accepted part of the game.
Players found guilty of ball tampering can be fined up to 50 percent of their match fees and also face a match ban.