Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon has been penalized by the International Cricket Council for dropping the ball on AB de Villiers after the veteran batsman was run out in South Africa's second innings of the Durban Test.
In the 12th over of the innings delivered by Lyon, David Warner produced a gem of an effort on the field to pass the ball at the non-striker end where Lyon dislodged the bails to run out de Villiers. However, after dislodging the bails Lyon unwarrantedly dropped the ball which grazed the chest of de Villiers who was down on the ground while attempting to get back to the crease.
Nathan Lyon has been charged with a Level 1 breach, as per which he has been fined 15 percent of his match fee and one demerit point got added to his name. It is worth mentioning here that four demerit points would result in missing a Test match.
Lyon was found to violate Article 2.1.1 of the ICC Code of Conduct, which relates to "conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game."
According to a Cricket Australia spokesperson, Lyon had already made an apology to de Villiers by saying that there was no malice intended.
Talking about the incident in the post-match media conference, Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis had said: "It's not anything out of the ordinary for me. We certainly don't complain about it. It's big men playing competitive sport. I didn't even see the footage of Lyon dropping the ball until this morning, so it's not like it was anything extra for us. We just play. Obviously Australia were on top for most of the game, and generally when you're on top that sort of stuff happens.”
As far as the result of the match is concerned – Australia won the Durban Test by 118 runs and consequently took a 1-0 lead in the four-match Test series. It took the Aussies just 22 balls to wrap up the Proteas innings on Day 5. Left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc was adjudged Man of the Match for his 9-wicket haul in the match. The second Test will be played at St George's Park, Port Elizabeth on March 9.