Longer days during 4-day Test

South Africa’s four-day Boxing Day Test against Zimbabwe is likely to be scheduled for just over four and a third days rather than ‘four’ with extra overs almost certain to be built-in to revised playing conditions.

It has yet to be confirmed but proposals indicate that CSA have suggested 98 overs per day over the course of the four days with the first two sessions planned for two hours and 15 minutes each with the final session lasting the usual two hours.

That would mean a total of 392 overs instead of the normal 450 for a conventional five-day Test. If play starts at the suggested time of 1:30pm, that would mean a finish time of 9:00pm with the option of claiming an extra half hour in the event of rain or a slow over-rate to take the finish time to a maximum of 9:30pm.

Such provisions would mirror the maximum number of overs already in use in Tests throughout most of the world where 98 overs a day is common in matches which have been affected by the weather. CSA is also likely to opt for the ‘tea’ break of 20 minutes first followed by a dinner break of 40 minutes between the second and third sessions.

    In another interesting development, a proposal is on the table to reduce the follow-on total from its usual 200 runs to 150. Playing conditions are likely to be finalised in the next few days.

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