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Zondo questions decision to play on in fading light in Sydney

South Africa batter also backs his captain Dean Elgar to bounce back from a poor tour

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
Pat Cummins pinned Khaya Zondo lbw, Australia vs South Africa, 3rd Test, Sydney, 4th day, January 7, 2023

Khaya Zondo fell lbw to Pat Cummins in the final session in Sydney  •  Getty Images

South Africa's Khaya Zondo has questioned whether the light was suitable for play to be continuing at the time of his dismissal in the Sydney Test and also believed he got an inside edge on the yorker from Pat Cummins.
Zondo, who fought hard for his 39 after coming in with South Africa 37 for 3, was pinned in front deep in the final session on Saturday with floodlights on when Cummins went around the wicket and produced a brilliant piece of bowling. The lbw was given on field and Zondo did not immediately review but then saw a spike on the replay, although it appeared to be caused by bat hitting the ground.
"There was a spike," Zondo said. "I don't want to go too on about it, the decision's made. It is what it is.
"It was just dark…that's what I felt, it was quite dark. He [Cummins] is not slow, is he?"
The umpires set their level for bad light when play was first interrupted on Wednesday. Josh Hazlewood acknowledged it was getting gloomy towards the close as Marco Jansen was peppered by short deliveries, but that was after Zondo's dismissal.
Zondo's wicket was followed by that of the in-form Kyle Verreynne who edged to slip during a magnificent spell from Cummins, leaving South Africa needing 127 to avoid the follow-on or with 14 wickets to see out the final day.
"We've got a day to bat, I'm sure we've done that before so I'm sure we'll be able to do it tomorrow," Zondo said.

Zondo backs Elgar to bounce back from poor tour of Australia

He also had words of support for captain Dean Elgar whose miserable tour with the bat continued with a fierce working over from Hazlewood and Cummins. With one innings remaining, Elgar's average of 9.20 is the fourth-lowest for a visiting captain to have played at least three matches in a series, behind Courtney Walsh, Ivo Bligh and Arthur Gilligan.
"He's been in good spirits…in the changing room, you don't see any frustrations," Zondo said. "I've been a captain at domestic level and I know what it can be like. If you are doing it at international level I'm sure it's 10 times heavier but he's handling it well.
"You can see that he's experienced, so he knows the wheel will turn. He's just got to stick to his processes and the team will also gather more experience and come right at some stage. The sun will shine eventually, it won't stay like this forever."

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo