Match referee Andy Pycroft warned England speedster Jofra Archer for intimidatory bowling on Day 2 of the Boxing Day Test against South Africa at the SuperSport Park in Centurion.
After England were bowled out for 181 to concede a 103-run first-innings lead after opting to field first, Jofra Archer found some form, dismissing Dean Elgar and Faf du Plessis.
However, with one ball left in his final over of the day, Archer lost his radar – and narrowly avoided disaster.
The 24-year-old not only accidentally unleashed one 141km/h beamer (an attempted knuckleball went wrong) at Proteas nightwatchman Anrich Nortje, but two in a row.
Umpire Paul Reiffel initially deemed both to have no balls, before changing his mind with the second.
Back-to-back beamers could have seen Archer removed from the English attack for the rest of the Test.
The Proteas fumed over the reprieve, with captain Du Plessis and newly appointed head coach Mark Boucher speaking to the match referee after the end of the day’s play.
Also, Vernon Philander questioned the umpire’s call.
“I suppose if you’re at square leg and you call no-ball, you’ve got to stand your ground. At no time did they actually cancel it,” Philander said while speaking to the media.
“For me, it’s plain and simple. You are setting an example for the rest of the people looking into this game. You have to make the right call. Are you going to tolerate it at another game, or are we going to put a stop to it right here?”