Pakistan lost its T20 World Cup opening game to India in a nail-biting contest. While the game was played in good spirit and ended up being one of the best Pakistan vs India T20 games, controversial no-ball call towards the death end of the game made the difference in deciding the winners of the game.
Pakistan did well to score 159-8 on a wicket that offered pace, bounce and movement to pacers but found themselves at the receiving end for a selection and the umpiring blunder. In hindsight, it is easier to say that Pakistan should have gone with four seamers, but Mohammad Nawaz’s last over made all the headlines for, the right and the wrong, reasons.
When Nawaz bowled a full toss and got smacked for a six, the leg-umpire didn’t give the no-ball straight away. It was after Kohli’s protest that Marais Erasmus signalled Rod Tucker – the standing umpire – that it was a no-ball. Not only did it not give India the free hit but also an additional ball. Had it not been a no-ball, India would have required 7 off 2 with Kohli on strike.
The game could have gone either way. One fails to understand as to why the umpires did not refer the waist-high no-ball to the third umpire when they were clearly confused. What prompted them to cave in to the pressure that they did not even bother to go upstairs?
One hopes that the umpires would not repeat such mistakes at crucial junctures in future and as for Pakistan, it has become pretty clear that they need a fourth seamer in the rest of the games.