Anderson rues Smith reprieve

ENGLAND fast bowler James Anderson criticised umpire Steve Davis for yesterday calling a dead-ball against Steven Finn after a bowl in which South Africa captain Graeme Smith was caught at slip.

South Africa remain in control of the series to decide the world’s premier Test team after Alviro Petersen secured an unbeaten 124, and his side closed the second Test’s first day on 262-5 after an apparent breakthrough was ultimately lost through the umpire’s intervention.

“It’s a frustrating one for us, because he [Davis] didn’t actually warn us he was going to do it,” said Anderson. “We were slightly perplexed by that.

“But the batsmen said it was distracting, and they had been in the umpire’s ear – and he finally decided he was going to call dead-ball.

“Unfortunately, it was the ball we managed to get Smith out. There is nothing in the rules that says the umpire can’t do that.

“It’s strange that no batsmen have complained about it before – and he has done it hundreds of times, from what I can remember.

“If they thought it was distracting and they told the umpire, then fair enough.

“Finny was told to be careful, because it was distracting the batsmen...at no stage was he told it would be called dead-ball.”

Finn’s recall was justified when he bowled out Dale Steyn, but though Stuart Broad also dismissed AB de Villiers late on, South Africa remain favourites.