Oz-Proteas Skippers confused about new power play rule

Published: Tuesday, January 20, 2009, 13:50 [IST]
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Hobart: Cricket captains of Australia and South Africa -- Ricky Ponting and Johan Botha -- are reportedly still uncertain about how best to apply the new powerplay rule when batting in one-day matches.

According to a report in The Age, while both admit to being confused about the rule, they know that whoever acquires a better understanding and application of it, could win the five-match series.

The rule, which is present in domestic one-day games in Australia, allows a batting team to select a five-over period anywhere in its innings, one that compels the opposing team to have no more than three fielders outside the circle.

South Africa's ability to plunder runs when the field was brought in was the key to its victory on Friday night. It batted in a similar position yesterday in Hobart but just failed to reach Australia's total of 9-249, leaving the series level at one-all.

Speaking after the game, Ponting said he was keen to take the powerplay early in the match, but first wanted to check whether his teammates agreed.

"Most teams in domestic cricket in Australia have been holding it off to around that ball change (after 34 overs) because the ball obviously is harder and comes off the bat better."

While Ponting eventually decided against taking the early powerplay, he agreed he would be more tempted to trust his instincts in future matches.

Botha on the other hand conceded his batsmen may have been "a little bit" sedate because they expected runs to be scored faster during the power, which he eventually took in the 45th over.

Botha said the Proteas were not overly disappointed about not going 2-0 up in the series, predicting another close match when the team meet next at the SCG on Friday.

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