Arthur bemoans lost time; umpire Benson in ICU

Published: Friday, December 29, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Durban:South Africa coach Mickey Arthur was frustrated by the amount of time lost on day three of the second Test against India on Thursday.

Bad light ended play 30.3 overs early, a power failure dimmed the floodlights, the ball had to be changed and umpire Mark Benson was admitted to intensive care after leaving the field early with heart palpitations.

South Africa reached stumps on 64 without loss in their second innings, a lead of 152 runs.

"It was hugely frustrating (to have the day's play ended prematurely), because we obviously wanted to push the game forward tonight," Arthur told a news conference.

"We were also frustrated by the amount of stoppages through the day for changing the ball, and doctors running onto the field."

"Some proper control needs to be taken, otherwise it could spill over into something very frustrating for us. It took 20 minutes to change one ball today, and that type of thing is almost unacceptable, we need to speed that up."

South Africa captain Graeme Smith, 28 not out, was visibly disappointed by the umpires' decision to end play early.

"We tried to get cricket on the field, but we felt the light had gone to such an extent that it was unfit for cricket," said third umpire Ian Howell, who replaced Benson on the field.

Indian left-arm fast bowler Zaheer Khan said the visitors remained positive they could regain the advantage on day four.

"Tomorrow is very important for us, and hopefully we'll be able to put up a good performance to set the match in our favour because the game is still wide open," he said.

India took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series by winning the first Test in Johannesburg by 123 runs.

Meanwhile Cricket South Africa said Benson had been admitted to an intensive care unit of St Augustine hospital in a Durban hospital, where he would remain overnight for observation.

Benson, 48, left the field one ball into the fourth over of the third day and was replaced by Ian Howell of South Africa.

Benson, a former Kent opening batsman who played in one Test for England, was appointed to the International Cricket Council's elite panel in April 2006. He was standing in his 12th Test match.


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