The Pakistan A team, also known as Pakistan Shaheens, are playing the sixth unofficial ODI against Zimbabwe Select today (May 27) in Harare in what is the last game of a long tour which had two unofficial Tests as well before the One-Day series.
The game has been marred by a controversy as Pakistan Shaheens who won the toss and elected to field first on a flat deck, were penalised for ball tampering.
Umpire Iknow Chabi, who has officiated in more than 50 international games across formats, awarded the Zimbabwe Select team five penalty runs on account of ball tampering by the visiting side.
It is not yet clear how the ball was tampered or who was the culprit, but the laws of cricket state that if the umpires believe that the condition of the ball has been unfairly changed, they can offer the batters the option to ask for a replacement ball (if the fielding side are the guilty party) and irrespective of what the ball is replaced or not, they have to award five penalty runs to the opposing side.
Law 41.3 of the Laws of Cricket deals with changing the conditions of the match ball. Clause 22.214.171.124 states: “Regardless of whether a replacement ball has been chosen to be used, the bowler’s end umpire shall award 5 Penalty runs to the opposing side.”
This incident is not the only demoralising thing that has happened for Pakistan Shaheens in this game though. Zimbabwe Select scored 385 runs from their 50 overs with Craig Ervine scoring 195 off 148 balls. Shahnawaz Dahani, who has already played more than 10 international games for Pakistan, went for more than 100 runs in his 10 overs.
Pakistan Shaheens eventually lost the game and also the series 4-2.