In a bizarre turn of events, Afghanistan were given a run penalty during the ongoing second Test against Zimbabwe at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. It all happened after one of Afghanistan’s fielders deliberately conceded a boundary to keep Zimbabwe’s tailender on strike.

On Day 3 of the match, the bizarre incident took place when Zimbabwe were struggling for 281/8 in their first innings in reply to Afghanistan’s 545/4 d. Middle-order batsman Sikandar Raza (79*) was playing at one end while Blessing Muzarabani was giving support to him.

On the last delivery of 91st over bowled by Sayed Shirzad, Raza guided the wide yorker towards the cover region for a boundary. However, the ball stopped inches short of the ropes, and that’s when fielder Hashmatullah Shahidi did something unusual.

Shahidi intentionally collected the ball from outside the boundary so that Afghanistan can have Muzarabani on strike for the next over. Seeing this, the umpires had a chat and then decided to penalize Afghanistan by awarding an extra run to Zimbabwe in addition to the boundary.

In accordance with 19.8 of The Laws of Cricket, “If the boundary results from an overthrow or from the willful act of a fielder, the runs scored shall be any runs for penalties awarded to either side and the allowance for the boundary and the runs completed by the batsmen, together with the run in progress if they had already crossed at the instant of the throw or act.”

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Zimbabwe were eventually bundled out for 287 in their first innings and was enforced with a follow on. In their second essay, captain Sean Williams bailed his team out of trouble and scored his Test career’s fourth century on Day 4.

Zimbabwe were 142/7 at one stage, but Williams and Donald Tiripano formed an unbeaten 124 runs partnership for the eighth wicket. Zimbabwe have managed to put 266 runs on the scoreboard at stumps, leading Afghanistan by eight runs. Both Williams and Tiripano are unbeaten on 106 and 63 runs, respectively.


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