Proteas hit back in ball-tam­per­ing row

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

HO­BART: South Africa in­sisted a ball­tam­per­ing con­tro­versy had been “blown out of pro­por­tion” yes­ter­day as they kept their fo­cus on a third straight series win in Aus­tralia. Skip­per Faf du Plessis was un­moved by ac­cu­sa­tions of tam­per­ing in South Africa’s thump­ing 177-run first Test win, say­ing Aus­tralia also got the ball to re­verse-swing. Du Plessis was warned by the um­pires for de­lib­er­ately bounc­ing the ball along the ground, to rough it up, but he said there was no un­fair ad­van­tage. “I think it’s been blown out of pro­por­tion. We were watch­ing the first in­nings in Perth and they (Aus­tralia) got the ball to re­verse in the 25th over,” he said in Ho­bart, where the sec­ond Test starts on Satur­day.

“I was quite im­pressed. I was try­ing to see how they were do­ing it be­cause that meant they were do­ing some­thing right. Twenty-five overs is very early for ball to re­verse. “We are a bowl­ing at­tack and we en­joy bowl­ing with a swing­ing ball. To say it was only for us is not true. “It was 50-50 the amount of re­verse swing through­out that Test. The Aussies did it re­ally well.” Re­verse swing-when the ball moves away from its usual tra­jec­tory, usu­ally when it is older and rougher-is un­likely in lush, damp Ho­bart. “Perth was re­ally dry and ex­tremely hard. It will be dif­fer­ent here,” du Plessis said. “It is lush, it’s green, it’s soft, it’s wet. It will seam and swing, but won’t re­verse that much.”

‘They let it slip’

The Proteas are on the verge of em­u­lat­ing the in­tim­i­dat­ing West Indies teams of the 1980-1990s with three straight series wins in Aus­tralia af­ter their con­vinc­ing vic­tory in Perth. Forecast rain may thwart South Africa’s hopes of clinch­ing the three-Test series in Tas­ma­nia, but du Plessis says his tourists are in a good space af­ter out­play­ing Steve Smith’s team over four of the five days in Perth.

Du Plessis, dep­u­tiz­ing for in­jured skip­per AB de Vil­liers, says he has a team full of re­silient char­ac­ters while Aus­tralia will be “hurt­ing” from their fourth straight Test de­feat. South Africa have shown their strength un­der pres­sure with series tri­umphs on their last two trips to Aus­tralia in 2008/2009 and 2012. They have lost only one of their last seven Tests in Aus­tralia. — AFP

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