According to an International Cricket Council’s (ICC) release, Philander’s actions, which took place in the afternoon were not aired live but picked up when on-field umpires Billy Bowden and Richard Kettleborough as well as third umpire Nigel Llong, fourth umpire Ruchira Palliyaguruge and match referee Jeff Crowe reviewed visuals of the day’s play.
Philander was fined 75 per cent of his match fee for breaching clause 42.1 of the ICC’s match playing conditions as footage viewed by the umpires after the close of play showed him scratching the ball with his fingers and thumb.
The charge was not disputed by Philander and he accepted his punishment. It will not go unnoticed that South Africa’s pace spearhead Dale Steyn achieved substantial reverse-swing in a spell after tea. Steyn sliced through Sri Lanka with three wickets in five overs in the third session.
South Africa were involved in a similar incident against Pakistan in the UAE last October when they were penalized five runs. On that occasion, television coverage showed Faf du Plessis rubbing the ball close to the zipper of his trouser pocket. The ball was changed on-field and South Africa penalized before du Plessis pleaded guilty to a charge of ball-tampering. He was fined 50 per cent of his match fee.