AB: We don't scratch the ball. Simple.

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South Africa wicketkeeper AB de Villiers has denied his players tried to alter the state of the ball on day three of the second Test against Pakistan, saying that while they try to shine the ball, they don't scratch it.

South Africa wicketkeeper AB de Villiers has denied his players tried to alter the state of the ball on day three of the second Test against Pakistan, saying that while they try to shine the ball, they don't scratch it.

The controversy came in the 31st over of the Pakistan innings, when umpires saw Faf du Plessis allegedly scratching the ball on his trouser pocket zip, thus scuffing the ball. They immediately changed the ball and awarded Pakistan five penalty runs.

But De Villiers, who made a ton for the side earlier in the game, said the Proteas where not in the habit of cheating, and that Du Plessis was not the kind of player to damage the ball intentionally.

De Villiers said after the day's play: "We are not a team that scratches the ball. We play in a fair manner, we want to swing the ball as much as we can, we try and get it to reverse, putting more sweat on one side and things like that, but we don't cheat. It's as simple as that.

"I know Faf very well. He is the last man on the field who will try anything like that. It is part of his responsibility to shine the ball, in order to get it swing, and look after it. It is not an easy job and I thought he did a very good job of it."

The ODI skipper then said they were all surprised by the penalty runs, adding: "I don't even know where the message came from. There were no warnings, no talk of it. I still don't know the facts."

Further sanctions, if any, are expected to be announced by the ICC on Saturday.

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