South Africa paceman Kagiso Rabada's sublime spell of pace bowling that helped him bag five wickets to dismiss Australia for 243 in their first innings on the opening day of the second Test was the talking point on Friday. However, the red-hot pacer faces a likely ban for his on-field behaviour in Port Elizabeth.
Rabada has been charged with a Level 2 offence for his send-off to Australian skipper Steven Smith. The 24-year-old made which his shoulder made contact with that of the batsman. Media reports say that Rabada is contesting the charge and was scheduled to appear at a hearing after the second day's play.
However, one of the standing umpires from Friday, New Zealander Chris Gaffaney, was not fit to sit in on the process due to health issues. The hearing will take place on Sunday.
Rabada began expensively before lunch, conceding 47 runs, but then returned to claim five wickets for the loss of just 13 runs on either side of tea and effectively turn the game around.
Warner was eventually bowled for 63 on Friday as Australia reached 117-3 but it was only when Rabada trapped captain Steve Smith lbw for 25 that the wickets began to tumble. The fired-up bowler nudged Australian skipper while celebrating the prized wicket. This act might get Rabada, who has a nasty record with send-offs, banned.
Five went down for just for 21 runs as Rabada also dismissed the Marsh brothers, Shaun and Mitchell, and then Pat Cummins for a golden duck after tea.
Mitchell Starc (8) was Rabada’s fifth victim, clean bowled to leave Australia reeling on 182-8.
“It was important to stay in the fight and it was just my day. I was just on a roll, things were all going my way,” Rabada told reporters after the day's play.
Reportedly, his latest act may get him banned for two games
In February last year, he was fined 50 per cent of match fee and acquired three demerit points for inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with Sri Lanka’s Niroshan Dickwella.
Less than five months later the same year in July, he bagged another demerit point and was fined 15 per cent of match fee for using inappropriate language after dismissing England all-rounder Ben Stokes.
He was rapped again the International Cricket Council last month another demerit point got added to his tally with a fine of 15 pe cent match fee for using language which could provoke an aggressive reaction from another player in send-off of India batsman Shikhar Dhawan.
His record could have looked even worse had he not not been lucky to get away with a couple of close calls.
In November 2016, he got away after giving debutant Nic Maddinson a send-off in Adelaide that was understood to be stacked with Afrikaans expletives.
And recently in the first Test match in Durban, escaped punishment despite his send-off to David Warner caught the attention of both umpires.
With Agency Inputs