Television replays showed South African fielder Faf du Plessis rubbing the ball on his trousers which had a zip on them, in an apparent attempt to tamper with the ball.
Umpires Rod Tucker of Australia and England’s Ian Gould called South African captain Graeme Smith, changed the ball and added five runs to Pakistan’s score.
Pakistan were struggling at 62 for three with Dale Steyn about to start the 31st over when the umpires took notice of the ball and took the decision.
Under International Cricket Council (ICC) rule 42.1 on tampering, if an umpire spots a change in the condition of the ball but doesn’t know who is the culprit, he will issue a first and final warning to the captain and the ball will be changed.
In case the ball is tampered with again, the bowling team will face a five-run penalty and umpires will not only change the ball again but the captain will be held responsible and reported.
We don’t cheat: AB de Villiers
South Africa vice-captain AB de Villiers vehemently denied allegations of ball-tampering.
“Honestly, we’re not the team that scratches the ball,” said De Villiers. “We play in a fair manner. Obviously we want to swing the ball as much as you can and try to get it to reverse. We don’t cheat, it’s as simple as that,” said De Villiers, who backed Du Plessis.
Meanwhile, Pakistan were staring defeat in the second Test in the face after South Africa out-batted them and then bowled well on Day Three yesterday.
South Africa, seeking a series-levelling win, once again rocked Pakistan’s top order with three early wickets after compiling a mammoth 517 in their first innings for a big 418-run lead here.
At the close, Pakistan captain Misbah (42) and Asad Shafiq (28) were at the crease but they still need a whopping 286 runs to avoid an innings defeat or bat out two days to force a draw. The duo have added 62 for the fifth wicket and would need a Herculean effort to avoid defeat.
Brief scores: Pakistan 99 & 132-4 (Misbah-ul-Haq 42*, Younis Khan 36; Vernon Philander 1-16) vs South Africa 517