Pakistan wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan has almost inadvertently reenacted Alex Carey’s controversial stumping of England’s Jonny Bairstow.
Carey dismissed an unsuspecting Bairstow during the Ashes earlier this year with a shy at the stumps when the English batter had wandered out of his crease after ducking under a bouncer.
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The incident set off an eruption of abuse from the Lord’s crowd directed at the Aussies, who were scolded by English fans and media for upholding the appeal for Bairstow’s perfectly legal dismissal.
On Friday night, Rizwan almost did the same thing — but there was no such uproar.
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Carey’s throw was a premeditated decision that played out all in one immediate action, whereas the Pakistani keeper held onto the ball for an extended moment, rendering the ball dead, beyond any shadow of a doubt.
After the ball was well and truly dead, Rizwan threw the ball back up towards Haris Rauf the bowler and, inadvertently or otherwise, hit the stumps with his throw, with South Africa batter Aiden Markram having wandered out of his crease, just like Bairstow did in July.
The players were all smiles though, with Rizwan never putting forward an appeal to the umpire, instead walking straight up to Markram to share a laugh.
Aiden Markram was well out of his ground, but the ball was dead. Credit: Fox Sports
“I only saw the ball hit the stumps, I didn’t see anything else,” Mark Nicholas said on commentary.
“I think Markram was just padding down the pitch, but it was certainly a long time after the ball had nestled into Mohammad Rizwan’s gloves.
“And I don’t think, actually, he was deliberately throwing at the stumps. I think he was underarming it back down the pitch to the bowler probably, and he was quite amused by the fact that he hit the stumps.”
Sanjay Manjrekar added: “Mohammad Rizwan just having a laugh. There is a moment when — nobody makes any signal or whatever — but we all presume the ball is dead, and that happened. Rizwan wasn’t going to be serious about that appeal.”
Rizwan was all smiles. Credit: Fox Sports
And it’s lucky for the Proteas that their key middle-order talisman wasn’t dismissed, because he went on to anchor the table-topping South Africa to a thrilling one-wicket win, breaking their 24-year World Cup jinx against Pakistan, edging them closer to securing a semi-final place with their fifth win in six matches.
South Africa began well chasing 271 as Quinton de Kock (24) and Temba Bavuma (28) landed early blows but Pakistan struck back with timely wickets and it needed Markram’s nerveless 91 to take them close before they eventually edged home in 47.2 overs.
Usama Mir (2-45) came on as a concussion substitute after Shadab Khan hurt himself fielding and he got rid of Rassie van der Dussen and took a catch to dismiss Heinrich Klaasen while David Miller (29) and Marco Jansen (20) departed after cameos.
But the Proteas would not be denied a first victory batting second in the event despite Markram falling to Usama and Gerald Coetzee to Shaheen Afridi (3-45).
Keshav Maharaj, who was aided by player of the match Tabraiz Shamsi in a crucial 11-run final-wicket stand, proved the hero with his final winning boundary slapped behind square.
South Africa’s Keshav Maharaj roars after hitting the winning runs against Pakistan in Chennai. Credit: AP
Pakistan fell to their fourth successive defeat but Rauf (2-62) nearly won it for them towards the end with a diving catch to send back Lungi Ngidi before number 11 Shamsi survived a review for lbw.
“It’s a bit of chaos (in the dressing room) at the moment, the guys are enjoying the moment, guys picking up Shamsi,” said South Africa skipper Bavuma.
“Nail-biting finish, if you’re a South African fan, you’re a little bit happier with the outcome.”
Pakistan were in trouble at 5-141 but Saud Shakeel (52) and Shadab (43) stitched together an 84-run stand with some powerful strokeplay at the MA Chidambaram Stadium to guide the 1992 champions to 270 all out in 46.4 overs.
Pakistan were undone at the end by the impressive Shamsi (4-60) and Gerald Coetzee (2-42), who dismissed the in-form pair, as they ultimately fell short of an imposing total when Mohammad Nawaz (24) threw his wicket away.
They were earlier pegged back following an early double strike by Jansen (3-43) after Babar won the toss and opted to bat but Mohammad Rizwan (31) steadied their innings with the skipper before falling to a bouncer from Coetzee.
South Africa ended another blossoming partnership as Shamsi got rid of the aggressive Iftikhar Ahmed (21) when he looked to raise the tempo during the middle overs, shortly before Babar brought up his third half-century of the tournament.
Babar Azam leads his team off after a disappointing loss. Credit: Matthew Lewis-ICC/ICC via Getty Images
But Babar failed to swell his tally and he gloved a Shamsi delivery back to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock while attempting a rash sweep as South Africa’s hopeful review paid off to leave Pakistan needing another rescue act.
“Very disappointing for all the players,” Babar said.
“We fought back but we were 10 to 15 runs short and didn’t finish well. The way fast bowlers and spinners bowled, they fought well but unfortunately the result was not in our hands.
“We had the opportunity to win this match and stay in the tournament but we missed it. We will try our best in our next three matches and put our effort in every match so let’s see where we stand after the three matches.”
– With AAP
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