Pollard causes uproar with short run

Kieron Pollard failed to make his ground in a final over scramble in the IPL and had spectators up in arms over his intentions

Mumbai Indians batsman Keiron Pollard courted controversy in the Indian Premier League when he appeared to deliberately take a short run in order to retain the strike.

As Kings XI bowler Mohit Sharma began the final over, Mumbai still needed 16 from the final six balls. Pollard smashed the ball down the ground, but didn't get the connection he wanted and it was cut off by Glenn Maxwell patrolling the boundary.

With Harbhajhan Singh at the non-striker's end, Mumbai desperately wanted two so Pollard could retain the strike and increase their hopes of reaching the victory target.

And so the big West Indian turned and lumbered back for the second, grounding his bat well short of the popping crease at the bowler’s end in a bid to return before Maxwell's throw came in.

As it was, Maxwell's throw was wide and Pollard safely made his ground. But the umpire spotted the obvious short run and observers were quick to point out on social media it smacked of a deliberate tactic.

The Laws of cricket allow for the second of the two runs in such an instance to count, even though the batsman had been short on the first. Mumbai were duly awarded one run to their total and Pollard remained on strike.

Law 18.3 (b) states: "Although a short run shortens the succeeding one, the latter if completed shall not be regarded as short."

It is regarded as similar to the non-striker backing up out of his crease (and risking a Mankad dismissal) for not covering the full 22 yards.

However, if the umpires had deemed it deliberate, as covered by Law 18.5, neither run would have counted and Pollard would have been warned. A second deliberately short run offence would see the opposition handed five penalty runs.

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The on-field umpires at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium did not deem this to have been deliberate by Pollard despite the distance he was short of making his ground and allowed the second run to stand.

It is worth noting a more accurate throw from Maxwell would have seen the West Indian run out, even in spite of the short run. In that event, neither run would have counted.

The benefit to Mumbai of Pollard retaining strike was laid clear next ball when he launched a massive six over the deep midwicket fence to bring the equation down to nine from the final four balls.

But Mohit – one of five Sharmas playing in the match – held his nerve to deliver three successive dot balls that secured Kings XI a vital victory for their IPL playoff ambitions. 

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