SOUTH Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada was suspended for two Test matches and will miss the rest of the series against Australia, hours after being named man of the match in his team’s six-wicket win in the second Test.Rabada was found guilty of a level two International Cricket Council (ICC) code of conduct offence of “inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with a player” after leaning with his shoulder into Australia captain Steve Smith when he dismissed him in the first innings, an ICC statement said. The 22-year-old Rabada, who took 11 wickets to help South Africa level the series 1-1, was fined 50 per cent of his match fee and given three demerit points, which took him past the tally of eight that triggers an automatic suspension.
Cricket South Africa said it was seeking legal counsel about a possible appeal that could potentially make Rabada available for the next Test in Cape Town, which starts on March 22.“I found that there was contact between Rabada and Smith, and in my judgement the contact by Rabada was inappropriate, and deliberate,” match referee Jeff Crowe said in an ICC news release.
“He had the opportunity to avoid the contact and I could not see any evidence to support the argument that the contact was accidental. Rabada received a further 15 per cent deduction of his match fee and an additional demerit point. Rabada bowled with fire to set up a series-levelling win. His fast bowling ensured they needed to chase a modest 101 runs for victory.
The fast bowler took six for 54 as Australia were bowled out for 239 in their second innings. South Africa lost four wickets before Theunis de Bruyn hit the winning runs. AB de Villiers, whose 126 not out enabled South Africa to lead by 139 runs on the first innings, hit a quick 28 off 26 balls before he was caught at short leg off Nathan Lyon with 20 runs still needed.
Rabada took the first three of the five Australian wickets that fell for the addition of 59 runs on Monday. He had match figures of 11 for 150 - the fourth time in his 28-Test career that he had ten or more wickets in a match.
Rabada struck in the first over of the morning when he bowled Mitchell Marsh for 45 with a ball which swung in sharply.Pat Cummins fell to a sharp catch at gully by Theunis de Bruyn and Mitchell Starc edged a drive to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.
Lyon was caught behind off Lungi Ngidi and last man Josh Hazlewood hit a quick 17 before being caught in the deep off left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj.Tim Paine was left unbeaten on 28.Lyon was brought on for the last over before lunch and with his first ball caught Dean Elgar off a leading edge as the left-handed batsman stretched forward. It was a near-replica of Elgar's dismissal to the off-spinner in the first innings of the first Test in Durban. Aiden Markram had an escape in the second over of South Africa's chase. With his score on six he was dropped at first slip by Mitchell Marsh off Hazlewood.
Markram made 21 before he was caught by Smith at second slip off Hazlewood.Hashim Amla and De Villiers added 49 before both were dismissed with the total on 81.
Amla was caught behind off Pat Cummins for 27 andDe Villiers fell to Lyon three balls later. In an increasingly acrimonious series during which Warner, Australia spinner Nathan Lyon and South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock have also been punished by the ICC, Mitchell Marsh was added to that list on Monday. The Australia all-rounder was fined 20 per cent of his match fee and handed one demerit point for a level one offence of “using language or gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting”.He was caught on camera swearing at Rabada after being dismissed early on the fourth morning.