Updated: 05/08/2012 07:51 | By pa.press.net

Decision puzzled us - Anderson



James Anderson, right, claimed Jacques Kallis' wicket on the opening day of the second Test

James Anderson, right, claimed Jacques Kallis' wicket on the opening day of the second Test

England were "perplexed and frustrated" to hear umpire Steve Davis call a dead-ball against Steven Finn, with the very delivery he had South Africa captain Graeme Smith caught at slip.

But after they had battled back to leave South Africa 262 for five, England were able to keep a sense of perspective about Thursday morning's controversial events. Davis intervened after the South Africa openers complained to him that Finn's strange habit of knocking off the bails at the non-striker's end, in his delivery stride, was distracting them.

Fast bowler James Anderson said: "It's a frustrating one for us, because he [Davis] didn't actually warn us he was going to do it. We were slightly perplexed by that."

He added: "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 that we managed to get Smith out. There is nothing in the rules that says the umpire can't do that."

Anderson went on to say: "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."

South Africa batsman AB de Villiers praised Davis for his handling of the situation. "It's part of the rules, and I think the umpire did very well," he said. "There were a couple of warnings that went out, and he was consistent after that first call - which is what any cricketer asks for."

After a fluctuating day, both teams declared themselves satisfied with a stumps total which leaves this pivotal match in the balance.

"Alviro did extremely well, paced his innings extremely well - and we all played around him," De Villiers said of South Africa's centurion. "I would have loved to have been three down at the end of the day, but they just bowled too well towards the end."

Petersen's unbeaten 124 appeared to give the tourists the edge but Anderson said: "We created chances all day, could have got a few with the new ball - and they played and missed a lot. We're pretty pleased with the way things went, how we fought all day, and that new-ball burst from the two big lads could have swung it back our way."

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