Virat Kohli got bowled off a free hit but then got three byes and Ravichandran Ashwin finished the game with a cool single.
There was drama all along in the India-Pakistan encounter at the T20 World Cup on Sunday. After Pakistan gave India a 160-run target, India got off to a poor start losing four wickets in the first seven overs. Then Virat Kohli (82*) and Hardik Pandya (40) stitched a 113-run stand to give India a chance. Still the Rohit Sharma-led team needed 16 runs off the final over bowled by Mohammad Nawaz.
A lot happened in that one over – 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. With new rules coming into effect, Kohli was left stranded at the non-striking end. 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. However, according to the MCC Laws of Cricket, the ball will be declared dead when “it is finally settled in the hands of the wicketkeeper or of the bowler”, or when “a boundary is scored.” Also, after “a batter is dismissed. The ball will be deemed to be dead from the instant of the incident causing the dismissal.”
As far as the ball hitting the stumps is concerned, it can be declared dead by the umpire if “one or both bails fall from the striker’s wicket before the striker has had the opportunity of playing the ball.”
None happened and India were given three byes. Needing two off two, the designated finisher Karthik was stumped cleverly by Mohammad Rizwan. Kohli was on 82 as Ashwin took over with two needed off the last ball.
The seasoned off-spinner looked composed and smartly moved away as Nawaz darted one down the leg side for a wide. With the scores tied, as many as seven players closed in on Ashwin. But he allayed all fears of a Super Over by calmly clearing the in-field for a single, sparking wild celebrations in the winning camp and among the Indian fans.