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Last Updated: Monday, 21 November 2005, 13:07 GMT
Jonathan Agnew column
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew
By Jonathan Agnew
BBC cricket correspondent in Faisalabad

Pakistan reduced England to 113-3 after scoring 462 but the score hardly tells the story of a dramatic second day in the Faisalabad Test.


An exploding gas cylinder, which blew up on the boundary edge, reminded everyone just how serious the issue of security is on this tour.

Play is held up after the explosion of a gas canister

One of England's security officers dashed on to the ground, calling the batsmen, Marcus Trescothick and Ian Bell to join him, as Pakistan's anti-terrorism squad, raced to the scene of the blast.

Although the explosion shook the ground, the lack of smoke or debris quickly eliminated the possibility of an explosive device, and after nine minutes, play resumed.


Before the exploding gas canister, the main talking point of the day was the dismissal of Inzamam ul Haq.

This must be cited as yet another case of technology - and the use of the third umpire - failing to produce the correct decision.

In fact, the umpires failed on all counts, but it was arguably the third umpire, Nadeem Ghauri, who made the gravest error.

The incident also highlighted the growing, and unwelcome, trend of fielders hurling the ball at the batsman under the guise of aiming for the stumps.

Inzamam-ul-Haq is controversially run out by Steve Harmison
Inzamam's run-out raised issues over fair play and the use of technology

Steve Harmison was the bowler, and Inzamam hit a low full toss back to him.

As he followed through, Harmison gathered the ball in his right hand, and threw at the stumps, which, naturally enough, were behind Inzamam.

The Pakistani captain arched his back to avoid being hit by the ball, which went on to strike his wicket, and the umpire, Darryl Hair, called for the video replay to determine whether or not Inzamam was run out.

This was the first error, and the on-field umpires should not have allowed the proceedings to reach even this stage.

The laws clearly state that if a batsman, while in his ground, leaves it to avoid injury, he shall not be run out.

Umpire Hair could argue that he needed to be sure that Inzamam had not left his crease when he played his shot.

But to compound matters, the video evidence (with Inzamam's foot in shadow) was not nearly strong enough to condemn the batsman anyway.

Technology was introduced because, supposedly, it would give decisions that are 100% accurate. Too often, this is not the case.


It is also time that the authorities acted to stamp out the practice of fielders intimidating the batsmen by throwing the ball at them.

It is not in the spirit of the game - it is open hostility, and it is only a matter of time before a batsman is seriously injured.

Ten years ago, a bowler in a similar situation to Harmison would make to throw the ball at the stumps, but would not actually let it go.

Now it seems to be open season.


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