As I write, James Pattinson has given Hashim Alma a second chance by bowling him out on a no-ball.
It was the fourth in the match up until that point; twice each for South Africa and Australia. They have both been let down by sloppy and careless discipline.
How hard is it to plant half your foot on the good side of the white line, or, god forbid, your entire foot behind the line?
The extra hundredth of a second here or there in pace surely cannot be that advantageous to the bowler?
The crease, if we trust the assessment of Ian Healy, is approximately five centimetres thick, or two inches in the old scale. It means that when a bowler who has completely cleared the line has missed his ideal mark by at least five centimetres. This is a problem.
It is bad enough for the team to have to concede a run and have the batsman face an extra ball, but it is plain unforgivable for the team to miss out on a dismissal because of it. The bowler has let his team down and has no one else to blame but himself.
ABC Radio echoed the thoughts of some South African fans who suggested financial penalties for the bowlers who take a wicket on a no-ball. It’s so crazy it just might work.
Maybe Australia should charge $1000 per wicket taking on a no-ball? My foot would be six inches behind the line if I was forced to shell out a grand…
In limited overs cricket, bowlers are well punished for their transgression by making the next ball a free hit. No-balls have declined in the one-day game as a result.
Something tells me that after this match, Graeme Smith and Michael Clarke wouldn’t be entirely opposed to wanting that rule in Test cricket either!