Mar 152017
 

BITS AND PIECES 

  Players floored as Aussie game turns ugly 

SYDNEY: A cricket match in country Australia has turned ugly  with a batsman shoulder-barging a celebrating bowler, knocking  him over and sparking an onfield clash.  The incident, which has gone viral online, came just days  after cricket’s law-makers, the Marylebone Cricket Club, announced  new rules to penalise bad on-field behaviour.  Footage from the incident last weekend shows a paceman  for Yackandandah in Victoria state running towards the Eskdale  batsman after bowling him out.  The celebration wasn’t appreciated with the batsman dropping  his shoulder into him, knocking him to the ground.  That prompted a fielder to charge at the batsman and push  him over with fellow fielders rushing in to break up the melee.  “I understand people are passionate about their sport and  where they come from — they look after their hometowns —  but this is overstepping the mark, and it’s a big overstep,” chair  of the regional Albury Wodonga cricket competition Michael  Erdeljac told Win News television.  The bowler was slapped with a four-week suspended sentence,  while the batsman and fielder were banned until January  next year.  The scuffle came in the wake of the MCC last week announcing  that umpires would soon be given powers to send  players from the field — temporarily or permanently — for a  range of on-field discretions including acts of violence.  Excessive appealing, showing dissent and intentionally  making physical contact are among those offences umpires will  be able to penalise under a new Code of Laws which will be  issued this year.  At the umpires discretion, they will be empowered to issue  warnings, award penalty runs and send players from the field  for bad behaviour.—AFP 

South Africa to target Williamson’s wicket in second Test

 WELLINGTON:With New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor ruled  out of the second Test, South Africa will focus their attack on  the wicket of Kane Williamson, who held his side’s innings together  in the first match, said visiting captain Faf du Plessis on  Wednesday.  The hosts enter Thursday’s Test, the second of a threematch  series, at the Basin Reserve without Taylor and leading  pace bowler Trent Boult, who were both injured in the rain-affected  drawn first match in Dunedin.  Boult would be a ‘huge loss’, du Plessis said, but New  Zealand had depth in the pace bowling department with Tim  Southee coming back after being omitted from the first Test.  The key was to target New Zealand’s batting and particularly  the inexperienced middle order, putting added focus on  the wicket of Williamson after the skipper delivered a composed  130 at University Oval to stabilise his side.  “I said before the series that if we can get rid of Williamson  and Taylor there’s a lot of pressure on the rest of the batting  lineup,” du Plessis told reporters.  “We couldn’t get rid of Kane in the first Test and they were  successful as a unit. There lies the secret.” —Reuters      

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