Pakistan Super League 2018

PSL no-ball drama leaves stars stumped

Sangakkara, McCullum left perplexed by final-ball ruling but rarely-applied playing condition confirms umpires' call was correct

Louis Cameron

13 March 2018, 03:20 PM

A last-ball umpiring decision that saw a Pakistan Super League game end in confusion and left the likes of Kumar Sangakkara and Brendon McCullum scratching their heads has been vindicated thanks to a rarely-used clause in the International Cricket Council's playing conditions.

Karachi Kings players begun celebrating on Monday evening when Lahore Qalandars batter Sohail Akhtar, needing three runs to win off the final ball of the match, was caught at long-on.

But there was a dramatic turn of events when the third umpire, on review, found that Usman Khan had bowled a no ball.

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Umpires credited Lahore with the extra run from the no ball, but there was confusion as the batsmen had crossed, but no run was awarded. 

There was further confusion as Gulraiz Sadaf, who had been at the non-striker's end for the preceding ball, faced up for the free hit.

Sadaf was run-out coming back for a suicidal second run off the final legitimate delivery, leaving the scores tied and Qalandars captain Brendon McCullum puzzled as Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah appeared to explain what had just occurred to him.

"I still don't understand the rule," McCullum said post-match.

Lahore did prevail after a miserly Super Over from Sunil Narine, but McCullum wasn't alone in his bewilderment. 

Sangakkara, who is playing for Multan Sultans in this year's PSL, tweeted that a "solution" to the unusual occurrence was required and expressed his confusion over how the batsmen had crossed but not been credited with a run.

However, the ICC's T20 International playing conditions, which apply to domestic competitions unless other rules are specifically made, reveal that on-field officials Tim Robinson and Aleem Dar had made the correct call.

The ICC’s regulations state that if a no ball is called on a third umpire review, "the batting side shall benefit from the reversal of the dismissal and the one run for the no ball, but shall not benefit from any runs that may subsequently have accrued from the delivery had the on-field umpire originally called a no ball."

They continue: "Where the batsmen crossed while the ball was in the air before being caught, the batsmen shall remain at the same ends as if the striker had been dismissed, but no runs shall be credited to the striker even if one (or more) runs were completed prior to the catch being taken."

Lahore team manager and chief operating officer Sameen Rana had indicated the Qalandars would check with the league's technical committee that the correct call had been made.

"To be honest, we didn't know about the law," said Sameen. "We thought when the last ball was bowled the batsmen crossed so we were under the impression that we got one run from the no ball and one from running so we needed one run from the last ball.

"But the explanation given to us by the umpires was when the on-field no ball is not given, and if it is done through a review, then when the batsmen cross it is not a run.

"If that is the case then the question was why did the umpires let Sohail Akhtar go to the other end. This was the confusion which we will check with the technical committee and I think they have the knowledge to make the right decision."

The no ball proved costly for the Mickey Arthur-coached Kings, who could have gone top of the PSL standings with a win over Lahore but now sit third, one win behind the ladder-leading Quetta Gladiators.

The Qalandars are on the bottom of the table and are out of contention for the playoffs.