Afghanistan tried to be smart by conceding a deliberate boundary to keep a weaker batsman on strike in the second Test against Zimbabwe, but the umpires enforced the relevant cricket laws to deny them the opportunity.
The incident happened in the last ball of the 91st over of Zimbabwe’s first innings when Sikandar Raza, on 79, drove the ball to the off side and took a single with two wickets in hand. The ball seemed set to go past the boundary but it stopped just short.
However, trying to keep Raza off strike for the following over, fielder Shahidullah deliberately collected the ball from outside the rope to concede a boundary.
However, the umpires enforced Law 19.8, which deals with “Overthrow or wilful act of fielder”.
“If the boundary results from an overthrow or from the wilful act of a fielder, the runs scored shall be any runs for penalties awarded to either side and the allowance for the boundary the runs completed by the batsmen, together with the run in progress if they had already crossed at the instant of the throw or act,” it states.
Thus, Zimbabwe were awarded five runs.
Moreover, Raza took strike for the next over as per Law 18.12.2, which deals with the “batsman returning to wicket he/she has left," applies from the instant of the throw or act.
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However, Afghanistan bagged both the remaining wickets in the next over as Zimbabwe were bowled out for 287. They ended the day 24 for 0 following on, with Afghanistan having made 545/4 in their first innings.