Cummins laughs off ball tampering claims

Pat Cummins (Gallo)
Pat Cummins (Gallo)

Cape Town - Australia's Pat Cummins has laughed off suggestions that he intentionally stepped on the ball during day one of the third Test against South Africa.

In a series that has been marred by controversy since the first Test in Durban, day one at Newlands on Thursday appeared to finally be all about the cricket. 

Cummins' spell of 4/12 in eight overs catapulted his side back into the game after tea, while Dean Elgar's remarkable 112 not out saw him bat through the entire day. 

There were no heated confrontations or over-the-top wicket celebrations, but as fate would have it, day one still had a dose of controversy when video replays showed Cummins standing on the ball with his spikes.

The incident happened in the 53rd over, shortly before the tea break. 

It was after tea that Australia started rolling through the Proteas order, with reverse swing a factor as the hosts fell from 220/2 to 266/8 at stumps. 

When asked about the incident after the day's play, Cummins laughed. 

"What do you want me to say?" he asked.

"It was a mistake."

Cummins added that he had looked directly at the umpire (Richard Illingworth) after the incident and that the two had shared a “giggle”, highlighting the unintentional nature of what had happened.

"It was obviously very unintentional," he said.

"I think he had a look (at the ball) straight away, but there were no issues, so he passed it on."

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