Galle - South African pacer Vernon Philander has been fined 75 per cent of his match fees for changing the condition of the ball by scratching the surface with his fingers and thumb during the third day of the first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle.

Philander was charged with an article 2.2.9 offence of the ICC Code of Conduct which relates to “changing the condition of the ball in breach of Law 42.3 of the Laws of Cricket, as modified by ICC Standard Test Match, ODI and Twenty20 International Match Playing Conditions clause 42.1”.

The charge was laid after on-field umpires Billy Bowden and Richard Kettleborough, third umpire Nigel Llong fourth umpire Ruchira Palliyaguruge as well as match referee Jeff Crowe saw television footage which was not aired during live coverage.

Philander was the only front-line Proteas bowler to go wicketless, bowling 15 unproductive overs for 31 runs as Dale Steyn took a fifer, Morne Morkel took two wickets and leg-spinner Imran Tahir pocketed one, paving the way for South Africa to reduce Sri Lanka to 283/9. The tourists finished the third day with a lead of 172 runs at Galle.

The penalty was accepted by Philander without contest so there was no need for a hearing. Penalties for offences included in Level 2 of ICC Code of Conduct can range from 50 per cent to 100 per cent of a player’s match fee and/or two Suspension Points. Two Suspension Points equates to a ban of one Test, or two ODIs, depending on which type of match is scheduled next for the suspended player.