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November 8, 2018

Shadab, Shaheen sizzle as Taylor helps NZ post 266-9


November 8, 2018

KARACHI: Young leggie Shadab Khan took three wickets within a span of just four balls to help Pakistan restrict New Zealand to 266-9 in their opening One-day International in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday but it was veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez, who was in the spotlight, for the wrong reason.

With New Zealand in the process of resurrecting their innings after twin strikes by pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, seasoned batsman Ross Taylor tried to put Hafeez on the back foot by gesturing to the umpires that the spinner was chucking.

Taylor’s actions stirred quite a controversy both on and off the field with Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed clearly miffed by the batsman’s move to publicly question the legality of Hafeez’s bowling action.

The umpires Shozab Raza and Joel Wilson also got involved and had a chat with Taylor. As well as how it impacts how the officials view Hafeez’s action, Taylor could face the possibility of sanctions himself. They may not relate to dissent but there is a clause in the ICC rulebook that deals with players’ on-field behavior.

Fans, meanwhile, took to the social media to discuss the incident which happened during the 18th over when Hafeez was bowling at Taylor, the man who helped the Black Caps bounce back from 78-3 with a 112-ball 80. He put up a partnership of 130 runs for the fourth wicket with Tom Latham who scored 68 from 64 balls.

New Zealand were at one stage threatening to get somewhere near the 300-run mark but Shadab Khan took three wickets in four balls to keep them at bay. Shadab finished with 4-38. Shaheen Afridi took 4-46.

Though Hafeez went wicketless, giving away 23 from six overs, he was singled out by Taylor during the innings.In may this year, the 37-year-old was cleared by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to return to bowling at international level after remodelling his action. He was reported for a suspect bowling action during an ODI against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi last October, with an assessment finding it illegal for the third time in his career. He underwent remodelling of his action and had a re-assessment of his bowling action last month.

The ICC has made it clear that officials are still at liberty to report Hafeez in the future if they believe he is displaying a suspect action and not reproducing the legal action from the reassessment.

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