New Delhi, Jan 9: The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Tuesday that the pitch for the recently-concluded second Test between South Africa and India at Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town, which is now the shortest-ever completed Test match, has been rated as “unsatisfactory”.
The decision, made under the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, comes after the Test match between South Africa and India lasted just 642 balls, which adds up to 107 overs, in total. ICC Match Referee Chris Broad submitted his report expressing the concerns of the match officials.
ICC added that after the match ended, Broad also consulted captains of South Africa and India, Dean Elgar and Rohit Sharma respectively, both of whom felt that the pitch was below standard.
“The pitch in Newlands was very difficult to bat on. The ball bounced quickly and sometimes alarmingly throughout the match, making it difficult to play shots. Several batters were hit on the gloves and many wickets also fell due to the awkward bounce,” said Broad.
Following the assessment, the venue has now received one demerit point. The report has been forwarded to Cricket South Africa, who have 14 days to appeal against the sanction. In the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, if a pitch or outfield is rated as substandard, that venue is allocated certain demerit points.
One demerit point is awarded to venues whose pitches and outfields are rated by the match referee as unsatisfactory. When a venue reaches six demerit points, it is suspended from hosting any international cricket for 12 months. The penalty is 24 months in case of 12 demerit points. These points remain active for a rolling five-year period.
In the match, Mohammed Siraj's career-best spell of 6/15 led to South Africa being bowled out for 55 in their first innings. India managed to take a 98-run lead on the back of making 153, despite losing their last six wickets for just zero runs.
A brilliant counter-attacking hundred from Aiden Markram proved inadequate in South Africa’s second innings as India were set a target of 79, which they chased down with seven wickets in hand on day two. (IANS)