Adjust for width
Chasing 157, CSK were neck deep in shit at 146/8 in 19.4 overs against Kings XI Punjab on Saturday evening. 11 needed off 2 balls but with two bowlers who can hit a bit at the crease, a distant possibility.
The next ball, this happened:
Ashwin has become petulant of late but that’s for another post. CI adding a ‘rightly so’, I won’t even go there.
Umpires are humans and they have their inconsistencies but this decision was by no means an objective one. Had this come earlier in the game I’d bet on it being called a wide. Coming off the penultimate ball of a chase, Umpire Tarapore chose to call it a legal delivery and signalled a bye.
Why this particular delivery? What if Mahmood had followed up by firing another one down leg, a fraction wider than the previous one clear enough to be signalled a wide?
Going down leg is generally a good rule of thumb to identify a wide, why not call everything that goes down leg a wide? 11 needed off two balls could’ve easily turned into a still possible 9 off two, instead it became an impossible 10 off 1, ending the game for CSK.
Umpires aren’t there to appreciate skill, they have to make decisions based on what they see. Kissed the leg stump on it’s way to the keeper? Legal, maybe, if you saw it. Missed it? Wide. Hit a stump and disturbed the bails? Bowled, unless you’re Johan Cloete/Anil Chaudhury, the batsman is Sangakkara and you’re up for a scrap with Munaf and Harbhajan.
Didn’t watch the RR vs DD game today but heard about this incident:
18.4 Morkel to Hodge, no run, down the leg-side, was it? And not called a wide! Everyone is smiling there, including the batsman and the fielders…!
A Morne Morkel delivery down the leg-side wasn’t given a wide and DD ultimately won by 1 run. Two opinion calls in two days. I’ll admit CSK was mostly a lost cause before the wide that wasn’t but surely RR aren’t amused.
The leg side wide rule in limited over formats is quite harsh on the bowlers but I’m not sure how inconsistent decisions like this can fix that imbalance. It’s one of the few rules you
can could expect umpires to not screw up completely.
Image via Cricinfo