South Africa has a pretty unique relationship with rain when it comes to the ICC events and more often than not has resulted in hurting the Proteas’ chances. Whether it was the 1992 World Cup or 2003 one, the rain had a huge say in deciding South Africa’s fate and even though it was their first game in the ongoing T20 World Cup in Australia, it could very well prove to be decisive this time as well.
It was the final group stage game at Hobart’s Bellerive Oval and even though the forecast for the whole day wasn’t great, the first match between Bangladesh and Netherlands saw a full game getting completed albeit with a couple of interruptions. The rain arrived in the evening game as soon as both South Africa and Zimbabwe were done with their anthems.
Three spells of rain meant the game could only start after a delay of over two hours and it was reduced to a 9-over a side. South African bowlers were on fire right from the outset as they had reduced 19/4 before Wesley Madhevere and Milton Shumba helped their side reach 79.
The last two overs yielded 32 runs as Kagiso Rabada went for 17 in the penultimate over while Anrich Nortje too gave away 15 runs, out of which 5 came due to an unintentional mistake by wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock. Zimbabwe were awarded five penalty runs on the third delivery of the final over of the innings when Shumba top-edged a delivery to the fine-leg fielder, Lungi Ngidi for a single.
Ngidi threw the ball back to de Kock, who had removed one of his gloves and kept it on the ground. The incoming throw from Ngidi touched the glove and Zimbabwe earned 5 crucial runs as the ball struck an object the fielding team placed on the ground. Nortje was surprised when umpire Gough signaled 5-run penalty.
Here is the video of the incident:
View this post on Instagram
According to MCC’s Law 28.3.2, “If the ball while in play strikes the protective helmet (or any other object placed by the fielding team on the ground), the ball shall immediately become dead and, the umpire shall signal No ball or Wide to the scorers, if applicable, and, the umpire shall award 5 penalty runs to the batting side”.
Needing 80 runs to win, South Africa came out all guns blazing as de Kock raced off to 39 off 13 before two more rain interruptions resulted in match getting called off. South Africa now can’t afford a single slip-up in their T20 World Cup campaign.