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IPL 2020: Did an umpiring error cost Punjab the game against Delhi?

A drama was unfolded on Sunday night’s (September 20) fixture when Kings XI Punjab lost to Delhi Capitals in a Super Over in Dubai. However, with that nail-biting climax, comes the first controversy of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.

Delhi batted first and posted 157 for 8, courtesy to some late order power-hitting by Marcus Stoinis. In reply, Mayank Agarwal’s breathtaking 60-ball 89 got Punjab to a point from where they needed 13 runs off the last 6 balls, and just 1 run off the last 3 balls. Unfortunately, Punjab were unable to cross the barrier due to a brain fade on part of their batters.  They lost lost two wickets in three balls and the game went into the Super Over, where Delhi had an easy victory.

Now, here comes a twist in the tale.

In the 19th over of the Punjab innings, when they needed 21 off 10 deliveries Mayank drove a full-toss from Kagiso Rabada to deep extra cover a completed an easy two. Ideally they would have required 19 off 9 following those couple of runs.

However, the square-leg umpire Nitin Menon signaled one run short. But at the end of the over, television replays from multiple angles showed that Chris Jordan’s bat was clearly inside the crease when he attempted to go for the second run. Hence, the call was proved to be an error on part of the umpire and eventually that one run cost Punjab the match.

This error did not go unnoticed by fans, experts, and former cricketers who vented their ire at the decision on social media. Former KXIP team director Virender Sehwag slammed the umpiring saying that that one decision “was the difference” in the game.

“I don’t agree with the man of the match choice . The umpire who gave this short run should have been man of the match. Short Run nahin tha [It wasn’t a short run]. And that was the difference,” wrote Sehwag on his Twitter account.

The co-owner of the KXIP team, Preity Zinta, also expressed her disappointment and asked for the use of technology to verify the such calls of the on-field umpires.

“I travelled enthusiastically during a pandemic, did 6 days of quarantine & 5 Covid tests with a smile but that one Short Run hit me hard. What’s the point of technology if it cannot be used? It’s time BCCI introduces new rules. This cannot happen every year,” she tweeted.

Interestingly, a similar incident took place in last year’s IPL final when an umpire missed a front-foot no ball of Mumbai Indian’s Lasith Malinga and that error cost Chennai the championship.

Sandipan Banerjee is a senior cricket journalist with experience stretching across more than a decade. Having founded a number of cricket information resources and prior experience of working in big-ticket events like ICC Cricket World Cup, IPL and ICC Champions’ Trophy; he joined the team at CricketNews.com in 2019 to provide strategic guidance and to assume a brand ambassador role as principal correspondent. Due to Sandipan’s commitment towards the game, it’s safe to assume that if India are involved in a Test, ODI or a T20I, he’ll be there covering the match!

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