#NewsBytesExplainer: Dead ball controversy in India-Pakistan T20 World Cup clash
India defeated Pakistan by four wickets in their opener in the ICC T20 World Cup 2022. It was a nail-biting contest and India crossed the line on the very last ball. Meanwhile, the last over of the duel also witnessed a controversy. India were given three runs off byes after Virat Kohli was bowled off a free hit. Here is what the rule states.
Why does this story matter?
- India required 16 runs off the last over and Mohammad Nawaz was operating with the ball.
- His fourth delivery was adjudged a no-ball due to its height.
- Although Kohli got bowled off the free hit, he and Dinesh Karthik ran three runs after the ball ricocheted off the stumps.
- This left many Pakistan players baffled who seemingly wanted the ball to be adjudged dead.
What does the rule say?
As per the MCC Laws of Cricket, the ball doesn't become dead after hitting the stumps in case of a free hit. The ball can only become dead when "it is finally settled in the hands of the wicket-keeper or of the bowler", or when "a boundary is scored." The ball can also be declared dead when "a batter is dismissed."
Other scenarios when a ball can be called dead
The other ways to declare a ball dead include the times when the umpire has the authority over the decision. The umpire can call the ball dead when "one or both bails fall from the striker's wicket before the batter has had the opportunity to play." Notably, the clash did witness a dead ball when Shan Masood hit the spider cam with his shot.
Dismissals on free hit
As per the laws, there are only four modes of dismissals possible in case of a free hit. They are handling the ball, hitting the ball twice, obstructing the field, and run out. Hence, the ball was in play even after hitting the stumps and India were rightly awarded three runs. Ravichandran Ashwin later hit the winning runs off the final delivery.
How did the final over pan out?
Nawaz dismissed Hardik Pandya on the first ball off the last over. He gave away a single and a double in his following two deliveries. The spinner, however, then unleashed the no-ball which Kohli dispatched for six. He then bowled a wide before the free-hit episode took place. With two needed off the final two balls, Nawaz dismissed Karthik before Ashwin settled matters.
Ravi Ashwin keeps his calm
As Ashwin came to the crease, Nawaz bowled a wide ball down the leg side and the former was smart in leaving the same. Ashwin then lofted the last ball over mid-off and sealed the deal for India. Kohli was named the Player of the Match for his unbeaten 82 off 53 balls.