In a rare occurrence, South Africa were awarded five penalty runs as Cheteshwar Pujara dropped a catch of Temba Bavuma on Day 2 of the third Test in Cape Town, which led to the ball rolling on to eventually hit the helmet.
In the 50th over of the innings bowled by Shardul Thakur, Bavuma slashed at the ball which flew towards Pujara, who on Day 1 had taken a sharp catch to dismiss South Africa captain Dean Elgar, at first slip.
The fielder, possibly blinded by a diving Rishabh Pant in front of him, got down in time but couldn’t latch on to the ball. Thakur, who bowled splendidly on the second day, inducing forcing the batters at numerous plays and misses and some close LBW shouts, was forced to say ‘arre yaar’ (Oh man) in anger as India came close to breaking the promising partnership between Bavuma and Keegan Petersen.
“Gosh, insult followed by injury,” said Mark Nicholas on air. “Difficult catch to your left side at first slip. Very difficult on the inside of the keeper. And it flew, it flew low from an under edge.”
As replays showed, it was actually the outside edge the ball took off the bat. Nicholas’ commentary partner and former South Africa captain Shaun Pollock explained what made the catch more difficult than it actually was.
“It was the outer edge and that’s why it flows, and then you also have the keeper going across and throwing his right arm out. It always goes to hand, but it’s a lot going on. It’s a bit of a surprise too. He got two hands to it, probably reckons he could have taken that one. That is a tough chance, Pujara,” Pollock pointed out.
The drop catch did not hurt India much though as Bavuma eventually fell two overs later to Mohammed Shami, caught by Kohli at second slip. This was after India had a fine start to the second session with Umesh Yadav dismissing Rassie van der Dussen out caught behind to pick up his second wicket. Van der Dussen tried to bludgeon the ball through covers but the ball took the edge and landed straight into the hands of Kohli.