PORT ELIZABETH:: The inaugural four-day Test between South Africa and Zimbabwe in Port Elizabeth will see a minimum of 98 overs per day. It is 8 more overs than the usual 90-over quota per day in usual Tests.
Also, a 150-run lead will be enough to enforce follow on instead of the usual 200. The teams will play for six and half hours each day instead of the usual six hours with each sessions lasting a minimum of 2 hours and a maximum of 2-and-half hours. Cricket South Africa, being the home board, will determine the duration of sessions.
The day’s play will start at 1.30 pm local time run till 9 pm. An extra half-an-hour will be available to the fielding team if they have not completed their quota of overs.
ICC handed Test status to this match in October as a “trial”.
Then ICC chief executive David Richardson had said that the trial of four-day Test would run until the 2019 World Cup but clarified that participation is not mandatory.
Richardson had said, “Whoever wants to play it can play it. The real value is [for] teams like Ireland and Afghanistan, even Zimbabwe who have not been at their best. Teams visiting, for example, South Africa, might be more likely to [take a detour to] play Zimbabwe in a four-day Test than they would in a five-day Test. So I think it has a number of advantages.”
The Test will begin on this Boxing Day (December 26, 2017). South Africa are the No.2 ranked side in the ICC Test Rankings while Zimbabwe are languishing at the bottom, at the 10th spot.