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
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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

  • on November 27, 2013, 19:36 GMT

    Decades of playing cricket with South Africa ...Pakistan at last clinched a series in the year 2013. From my childhood back in 1992 I have seen the excellence of South Africa and most of the matches where Pakistan wilted to South Africa with the same fate. Most of the times Pakistan handed over the match to South Africans despite in strong position, this is first time I have seen them handing over match to Pakistan. Hurray

  • on November 29, 2013, 17:58 GMT

    i think Pakistan going to Clean Sweep tommorrow.. !

  • PAKCOP 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.

  • Go_F.Alonso 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

    Corrections?

  • 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.

  • on November 28, 2013, 14:56 GMT

    mind u if some1 gives hard time to South Africa is Pakistan....no 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.

  • 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.

  • keptalittlelow 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.

  • 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.

  • 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"

  • on November 27, 2013, 19:36 GMT

    Decades of playing cricket with South Africa ...Pakistan at last clinched a series in the year 2013. From my childhood back in 1992 I have seen the excellence of South Africa and most of the matches where Pakistan wilted to South Africa with the same fate. Most of the times Pakistan handed over the match to South Africans despite in strong position, this is first time I have seen them handing over match to Pakistan. Hurray

  • on November 29, 2013, 17:58 GMT

    i think Pakistan going to Clean Sweep tommorrow.. !

  • PAKCOP 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.

  • Go_F.Alonso 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

    Corrections?

  • 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.

  • on November 28, 2013, 14:56 GMT

    mind u if some1 gives hard time to South Africa is Pakistan....no 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.

  • 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.

  • keptalittlelow 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.

  • 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.

  • 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"

  • 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.

  • MariusRoodt on November 28, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    Agreeing with the above commenters that someone can be out LBW if the ball pitches outside off. I suspect Firdose Moonda means 'hitting' outside off, rather than pitching.

  • iffyz on November 28, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    Well done Pakistan! While there's never been any doubt that Pakistan have a very good bowling line up, this game showed that there is batting talent in there too. A very good game for me was ruined by the dismissal of Anwar Ali and Umar Akmal. The umpiring was atrocious in both these instances! To Dale Steyn; you should really be ashamed for appealing for Anwar Ali's dismissal. To Robin Jackman; are you watching the game while commentating, or just spewing gibberish as you please? More of Shaun Pollock please! He was a joy to watch while playing and now a very good commentator (Unlike Ackerman!)

  • on November 28, 2013, 8:08 GMT

    @mohammad zamin: not unfair at all. look at the situation they were in, less than a run a ball with 6 wkts in hand. any of the top teams wud win 99.9% of the times, regardless of the bowling attack. i am not taking anything away from the pak bowlers at all. they r brilliant n miles ahead of our (ind) bowlers. hell, if it was our bowling, vinay kumar or ishant sharma wud hv given the runs in the second last over only - why take it to the last over unnecessarily! but despite the skills, u cnt deny that SA had a brain freeze and played shots they shudnt hv. also a matter of belief, i think. ind/aus batters always hv the belief that they can win, from any situation (jst as the ind bowlers believe they can lose from any!!). SA has jst been losing too often, and mostly while chasing. the C word has gotten into their psyche by now, so much so, that they start questioning themselves even wen in winning positions! sad

  • Pak_Guru on November 28, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    Guys, just forget what happened and what could have.... just enjoy the win.... haha !! what a feeling, Misbah you have made history. Simply Superb.

  • on November 28, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    @Vasanth Kumar Nair: In all honesty it is very unfair to call them chokers, they WON in the UAE and also this was only a series between 2 teams. I doubt you watched the match, but the Pakistani bowling was amazing...Spin and pace.

  • on November 28, 2013, 5:34 GMT

    seems SA has returned to the familiar tag of Chokers after being in the drivers seat towards the end of the game. There was no need for any rash shots with less than 6 runs per over and more than 6 wkts in hand. too bad!!

  • cricpolitics on November 28, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    I think it's a bit unfair to always criticize Pakistan whenever they lose a match or call them unpredictable. I'm not sure how predictable the other top teams are now a days, England's huge loss in the first test, was it predictable from a top team? Was Australia's win predictable? South Africa's huge first test loss and several batting collapses in the UAE and now in South Africa as well. West Indies winning against India by chasing a huge total. It is hard to pick predictable vs. unpredictable these days which is actually good for the game.

  • SOLYPK on November 28, 2013, 4:10 GMT

    Well again Soly from Pakistan, Its not amaizing to see south africa lost after good position. In Pakistan, everyone say South African team is a "Chokker" Team. I think South Africa have not any good finisher, only AB Devillers.

    30 needed in 30 balls, but south africa lost. It's mourning day for me today. But I love to support south africa and will be supported to south africa.

  • musti1 on November 28, 2013, 3:56 GMT

    The wasted review - An LBW can be still be out if the ball has pitched outside the off stump. It is only when the impact is outside the line off the stumps that it cannot be given out. I think that's what you meant to say, the ball had impacted outside the off stump, and not pitched outside it.

  • on November 28, 2013, 1:33 GMT

    On the "Wasted review" A batsman can be given out LBW even if the ball pitched outside the off (not out side leg) and hit the pad within the line of stumps. I did not watch the match. Is that ball pitched outside leg or what?? Because pitching outside the off is not a reason to be given not out.

  • Rowayton on November 28, 2013, 1:26 GMT

    As an umpire, that obstruction decision sounds fine to me. If a batsman runs a line he wouldn't normally run (and I assume he doesn't normally run down the middle of the pitch) so that he can get between the ball and the stumps, then it's 'see you later'. Good decision.

  • on November 28, 2013, 0:53 GMT

    Akmal's dismissal. This is something, about which I had commented on, in many of my earlier posts. The The friction of a thin layer of air between two fast moving objects (in this case, the ball and the bat), moving in opposite directions do create a noise and the unfortunate batsman will be given out.

    It is the opposite case with "snicko". Even if the ball took a faint edge, the impact, sometimes, may not be strong enough to leave any hotspot. And, the batsman escapes.

    These technical facts are ignored, when people make comments on the DRS.

  • Stuart_Watson on November 28, 2013, 0:28 GMT

    It is irrelevant whether Hafeez's ball pitched outside the line of off stump ("The wasted review"). The issue is whether it struck the batsman outside the line of off stump while he was playing a shot - or not. I think Firdose Moonda really means the latter, but the incorrect use of terminology doesn't help the general comprehension of a law that is already poorly understood.

  • cricket_DD on November 27, 2013, 23:04 GMT

    Regarding the review, it is okay for the ball to be pitched outside off, the impact has to be in line. Was it pitched outside leg and Akmal thought pitched outside off? Description of that play is confusing. And i thought Misbah would not trust Hafeez and not Akmal

  • on November 27, 2013, 23:01 GMT

    seems SA has returned to the familiar tag of Chokers after being in the drivers seat towards the end of the game. There was no need for any rash shots with less than 6 runs per over and more than 6 wkts in hand. too bad!!

  • on November 27, 2013, 20:33 GMT

    Anwar Ali definitely did not obstruct the field deliberately and was wrongly given out. The standard of umpiring in today's match was not up to the mark as there were a number of wrong wides give.

  • Hamza.Shah on November 27, 2013, 20:04 GMT

    The ball pitching outside off is perfectly fine for a dismissal. Did it hit outside the line? If yes, then that is why the decision wasn't reversed :)

  • on November 27, 2013, 19:23 GMT

    Its not the first tme Hafeez has wasted a review. THe cricket board needs to take strong notice of such selfish exhibition that can down the entire team time and again.

  • kawaljit on November 27, 2013, 19:18 GMT

    With South Africa, you are never out of the game... 11 runs needed in 12 balls, 6 wkts in hand.. Amla batting on 98 and Duminy on the crease... nd d rest is history.. South Africa once again prove the famous saying in cricket... The game is not over until the last ball is bowled... Officially the chokers... For all the teams out there... If at any point of time in the match you think you are out of the game, dont underestimate them... They will surely find a way to lose from a position from defeat seems impossible for them...

  • gyusuf6 on November 27, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    Was he really obstructing???? I did not see that portion of the game.

  • Peace_Lover on November 27, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    The wasted review.. Well actually the case was not "pitch outside the off stump" You can be given out even if its pitching outside the off stump (But not if its pitching outside the leg stump).. The main thing is whether its hitting inside the line of stumps or hitting outside the line..

  • on November 27, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    Anwar Ali did change the direction or kept the same dirction because u should see his eyes. He was looking at Steyn and he knew Steyn was waiting for the throw. So I think it was a fair decision.

  • Asimaasi on November 27, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    Congradulations Pakistan Team.. Brilliant bowling from Junaid khan. Happy that he is back in rhythem.. Win is always Great but pakistan must learn from their mistakes. Again sending akmal down the order and then sending Afridi ahead of Billawal... Hafeez is continous failure at top order he must be eliminated from the team. Nasir jamshed must be send back to domentic to get his confidense back, he is no doubt a great asset...

  • SurlyCynic on November 27, 2013, 18:06 GMT

    Well done Pakistan. Great performance and great death bowling.

    From an SA perspective, superb batting by AB. Terrible 2nd-last over by Amla and JP which lost the game. Smith must retire from ODIs. Tsotsobe seriously needs more fielding practice, he is shocking. Move De Kock back to opener so he can keep playing without fear and get us off to good starts!

  • on November 27, 2013, 18:05 GMT

    i think that boot part was with anwar ali.. as for i remembered.. :P

  • on November 27, 2013, 18:05 GMT

    great effort by Pakistani team today. It was team effort and once again Pakistani top three match winners in short format performed well to win first ODI series against SA. Afridi, Ajmal and Akmal played their roles to make sure we are going to win this series. Well played and I ask all the fans that do not disrespect these three valuable players in short format. They are human and they are Pakistanies on the top so they will make mistakes but when ever Pakistan is going to win in short format 90% it will be because of these three players. Awesome feeling to beat SA in SA.

  • SurlyCynic on November 27, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    With the 'wasted review', it doesn't matter if balls pitch outside the line, as long as they don't pitch outside leg stump. The review failed because it HIT him outside the line of the off stump.

  • SurlyCynic on November 27, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    With the 'wasted review', it doesn't matter if balls pitch outside the line, as long as they don't pitch outside leg stump. The review failed because it HIT him outside the line of the off stump.

  • on November 27, 2013, 18:05 GMT

    great effort by Pakistani team today. It was team effort and once again Pakistani top three match winners in short format performed well to win first ODI series against SA. Afridi, Ajmal and Akmal played their roles to make sure we are going to win this series. Well played and I ask all the fans that do not disrespect these three valuable players in short format. They are human and they are Pakistanies on the top so they will make mistakes but when ever Pakistan is going to win in short format 90% it will be because of these three players. Awesome feeling to beat SA in SA.

  • on November 27, 2013, 18:05 GMT

    i think that boot part was with anwar ali.. as for i remembered.. :P

  • SurlyCynic on November 27, 2013, 18:06 GMT

    Well done Pakistan. Great performance and great death bowling.

    From an SA perspective, superb batting by AB. Terrible 2nd-last over by Amla and JP which lost the game. Smith must retire from ODIs. Tsotsobe seriously needs more fielding practice, he is shocking. Move De Kock back to opener so he can keep playing without fear and get us off to good starts!

  • Asimaasi on November 27, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    Congradulations Pakistan Team.. Brilliant bowling from Junaid khan. Happy that he is back in rhythem.. Win is always Great but pakistan must learn from their mistakes. Again sending akmal down the order and then sending Afridi ahead of Billawal... Hafeez is continous failure at top order he must be eliminated from the team. Nasir jamshed must be send back to domentic to get his confidense back, he is no doubt a great asset...

  • on November 27, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    Anwar Ali did change the direction or kept the same dirction because u should see his eyes. He was looking at Steyn and he knew Steyn was waiting for the throw. So I think it was a fair decision.

  • Peace_Lover on November 27, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    The wasted review.. Well actually the case was not "pitch outside the off stump" You can be given out even if its pitching outside the off stump (But not if its pitching outside the leg stump).. The main thing is whether its hitting inside the line of stumps or hitting outside the line..

  • gyusuf6 on November 27, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    Was he really obstructing???? I did not see that portion of the game.

  • kawaljit on November 27, 2013, 19:18 GMT

    With South Africa, you are never out of the game... 11 runs needed in 12 balls, 6 wkts in hand.. Amla batting on 98 and Duminy on the crease... nd d rest is history.. South Africa once again prove the famous saying in cricket... The game is not over until the last ball is bowled... Officially the chokers... For all the teams out there... If at any point of time in the match you think you are out of the game, dont underestimate them... They will surely find a way to lose from a position from defeat seems impossible for them...

  • on November 27, 2013, 19:23 GMT

    Its not the first tme Hafeez has wasted a review. THe cricket board needs to take strong notice of such selfish exhibition that can down the entire team time and again.