The India-Pakistan T20 World Cup Super 12 Group 2 match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday will forever remain one. The atmosphere created by more than 90,000 people, the cricket played and the exciting finish after the battle on the seesaw turned the match into a spectacle. There were plenty of wow moments throughout the 40 overs, but there were also a few instances when the fans of India or Pakistan were left with no effort. Shan Masood’s catch opportunity was poor due to the spider cam, leaving Indian cricketers and fans disheartened. Many believed that the third umpire’s call to run out Axar Patel could have gone the other way, but none was bigger than the no-ball umpire’s call in the last over.
India needed 13 runs off 3 balls when Pakistan’s left-armer Mohammad Nawaz hit Virat Kohli who, despite the height of the ball, managed to hit it over square fielder for an all-important six for India. However, the drama was not over. Immediately after hitting the ball, Kohli turned to the umpire, Marais Erasmus, looking for a no-ball for height. After a few seconds, Erasmus made up his mind and showed his colleague Rod Tucker that he was indeed above Collie’s waist. It was signaled as a no ball, which gave India a free to reduce the equation to 6 runs from 3 balls. Pakistan captain Babar Azam, pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi and several others were seen running towards Tucker to protest the call, but the decision was made.
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Another stunning moment followed with the next ball. Kohli was hit trying to sweep Nawaz, but as it was a free kick, Kohli not only survived but India made three runs. They ended up winning the match in the last ball by four wickets.
Reacting to the no-ball call, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi said Erasmus should have referred it to the third umpire instead of taking the decision himself.
“Jab se ie third umpire aia hai… Bohut sare run outs hai jaha pe on the field umpire bas signal kar dete hai third umpire k liie. Vo ek crucial situation tha, waha pe agar third referee ko referee kar dete toh vo aapko bata dete but aapne fauran kar di no-ball ka ishara. Itni koi eagle eyes nahi hai aapki third umpire who directs kar sakte the. (There have been many cases in the past where refs have immediately signaled to the third official for knock-out appeals. It was a crucial stage of the match, it should have been referred to the third official, who could have been a better referee. decision),” he said on Samaa TV.
Afridi was not the only ex-Pakistani unhappy with the no-ball call. And the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar were also confused by the decision.
India next face the Netherlands on Thursday at the Sydney Cricket Ground, while Pakistan face Zimbabwe in Perth on the same day.