South Africa v Pakistan, 2nd ODI, Port Elizabeth November 27, 2013

Akmal's painful knee, and the obstructed field

Plays of the Day from second ODI between South Africa and Pakistan, in Port Elizabeth

The shot
Ahmed Shehzad had played the pull, the drive, the cut and the sweep on his way to 50 but he had not brought out the big one until JP Duminy offered him the chance to. After watching Duminy's flight for the first over and taking advantage of it to smack him over third man for four, Shehzad met it with pure force in the second. He stepped down the track to heave Duminy over long-on for the first six of the innings.

The dismissal
Being given out for obstructing the field is a rarity, mostly because it requires a wilful attempt to "obstruct or distract the fielding side by word or action". There's not much time for preplanned manipulation in the heat of the game, and it did not seem to be what Anwar Ali was doing when he was given out. After playing and missing off Steyn, Anwar saw the opportunity to run through for a bye. Quinton de Kock threw the ball to non-striker's end and it hit Anwar on the shoulder. Steyn was heard on the stump mic complaining about Anwar running "straight down the pitch" and he was given out because the umpire's deemed he had changed his direction while running.

The disbelief
Before Pakistan had time to digest that decision, they had another one to shake their heads about as Akmal was given out caught behind off the next ball. He reached for a full Steyn delivery outside off and when de Kock collected, both he and Steyn went up. Akmal reviewed the umpire's decision and there was a distinct sound as the ball passed the bat - deemed as enough evidence to uphold the on-field decision - but Akmal remained in disbelief while Steyn celebrated five.

The wasted review
Mohammad Hafeez was convinced he had Hashim Amla out lbw when the South African opener played late and was hit in front. He wanted the review as soon as the ball thudded onto the pad and started signalling for it before remembering he was not the captain and Misbah-ul-Haq would have to make that call. Misbah was reluctant and held out a hand to calm Hafeez down before consulting with Akmal, who said he thought it pitched outside off. Hafeez was adamant it had not and Misbah decided to go with the senior man and send the decision upstairs. As it turned out, the ball had pitched outside the line, Amla was not out and Misbah was taught not to trust a bowler who wants a referral.

The pain
Runs were coming easily for South Africa and Pakistan needed something to inspire them. Shahid Afridi provided the nifty fielding that can effect a run-out when he swooped in from backward point to collect the ball after Hashim Amla glanced it that way off Hafeez. Afridi fired at the striker's end but instead of hitting the target, he hit Akmal on the knee. The ball rolled off the wicketkeeper and onto the stumps, and was followed by a yelp from Akmal. It was part painful scream, part appeal, and not out anyway.

18.00GMT, November 27: This article had originally said Umar Akmal had lost his boot. This has been removed.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 29, 2013, 17:58 GMT

    i think Pakistan going to Clean Sweep tommorrow.. !

  • Abrar on November 29, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    Umpiring was not up to par in this game. Congratulation Pakistan on a Great Series win, keep winning.

  • Sharad on November 29, 2013, 10:07 GMT

    Thanks Anthony. So if I may surmise your comment

    The following cases are when the ball hits the pad first 1) Pitching outside leg - Not Out 2) Pitching/Hitting outside off & playing - Not Out 3) Hitting outside off & not playing & would've hit stumps - Out 4) Any other way the ball would've hit the stumps - Out


  • Dummy4 on November 28, 2013, 23:58 GMT

    It does not matter if the ball pitches outside off stump. This is a common confusion of the LBW law. The only issue is if the ball pitches outside leg stump. If the batsmen is hit outside the line of off stump while playing a shot they cannot be out even if the ball would have hit the stumps.

  • Dummy4 on November 28, 2013, 14:56 GMT

    mind u if some1 gives hard time to South Africa is doubt south African is a good side but most of the time Pakistan really give them matches on the plate dose'nt mean Pakistan aint got no abilty to beat South Africa.They beat them on theor home soil this time and last time lost the series by 3-2.

  • Dummy4 on November 28, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    Has the level of umpiring really sunk that low, or the worst of it comes out against Pakistan. Does anyone keep stats on bad decisions. I would like to find which teams are the beneficiaries, and who tend to get the short hand of the stick. Also a report card on umps. would be nice.

  • hibbatur on November 28, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    I am sorry to say umpire's decision making was not at its best in this match. Pakistan were very lucky to have won this series still you have to give them credit for the resilience and character they have shown in this match.

  • Dummy4 on November 28, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    Wow... you guys seem to forget about all the rubbish Pakistan was dishing out over the course of 18 months when playing South Africa. You all moaned and criticised... now you all singing the teams praises. Yes, congratulations Pakistan on a fine series win in South Africa. It was richly deserved.

    But... just remember... this was only two games they won. Wouldn't really call it consistant.

  • Dummy4 on November 28, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    wasted review and i would like to say "disgraceful decisions by umpire on last over of steyn both were not out"

  • Dummy4 on November 28, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    Regarding the review you mentioned ball pitched outside off stump. Ball pitching outside off stump and hitting the wickets can be given out if the batsman is hit on pads in line of the stump. What ruled Amla not out was the fact ball hit Amla outside off stump.