The India-Pakistan match lived up to its hype with the Rohit Sharma-led side winning on the last ball of the match. Chasing 160, India stayed in the fight thanks to a superb 82* by Kohli. There was high drama in the last over, with India needing 16 off the last six balls. Two wickets fell, two extras were conceded, Virat Kohli got bowled off a free hit but then got three byes and Ravichandran Ashwin finished the game with a cool single.
First up, Nawaz brought the Pakistan team on its feet as he foxed Pandya who mistimed a flat delivery. New man Dinesh Karthik took a single as India needed 15 off four balls. Switching to left-arm medium pace from spin, Nawaz bowled a wide yorker to deny Kohli a boundary but thanks to his superb running, he managed to steal a two.
There was drama in the very next ball when Kohli hit a waist-high full toss for a six over deep square leg and then appealed for a no ball. Marais Erasmus at square leg did not indicate anything, leaving umpire Rod Tucker at the bowling end to signal a no ball.
Discussions followed before both the umpires calmed things down, and Nawaz bowled a wide in the next ball in his attempt to keep it out of Kohli’s reach. The wide meant the free hit stayed, else Kohli would have walked back to the dressing room after getting bowled. Instead, the duo ran hard for three.
Pakistan team was not happy with the decision and enquired whether it was a dead ball. Now, legendary umpire Simon Taufel has opened up on the issue.
“After the exciting climax to the India v Pakistan match at the MCG last night, I’ve been asked by many to explain the Byes that India scored after Kohli was bowled off the free hit,” Simon Taufel wrote on LinkedIn.
“The ICC Playing condition is below. The umpire made the right decision in signalling Byes after the batters ran three following the ball hitting the stumps and rolling down to 3rd man. For a free hit, the striker cannot be out bowled and therefore the ball is NOT dead on hitting the stumps – the ball is still in play and all conditions under the Laws for Byes are satisfied.”
India next play Netherlands on Thursday.