Sat, Dec 30, 2006 - Page 18 News List

South Africa coach Arthur angered by light problems

AFP , DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa captain Graeme Smith, left, looks up at the sky as he leaves the field with A.B. de Villiers after bad light stopped play on the third day of the second Test between South Africa and India at Kingsmead in Durban, South Africa, on Thursday.

PHOTO: EPA

South Africa coach Mickey Arthur said he was "hugely frustrated" after a power failure and bad light halted his team's surge on the third day of the second Test against India at Kingsmead on Thursday.

South Africa were 64 for no wicket in their second innings, an overall lead of 152, when bad light ended play for the day.

Arthur claimed one of three ball changes during the day took 20 minutes.

Another lengthy stoppage was when umpire Mark Benson had to leave the field after suffering heart palpitations.

Only 58.4 overs were bowled in the day.

South African umpire Ian Howell, who replaced Benson, defended the decision taken by Pakistan's Asad Rauf and himself to stop play, even though the batsmen wanted to continue.

Only eight balls were bowled and four runs added after a 45-minute stoppage caused when four of the five floodlights, augmenting poor natural light, went out.

Howell said the light had been offered to the batsmen shortly before the power failure.

They wanted to stay on and repeated their decision after the floodlights failed.

But soon after a bouncer by V.R.V. Singh nearly dismissed A.B. de Villiers, South Africa captain Graeme Smith opted to go off.

When play resumed after the floodlights came on again, "the light had deteriorated further," according to Howell.

After eight balls, the umpires decided the light was unfit for cricket and they called off play.

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