Twice in a row now in the ongoing World T20, India has completed a 7-wicket win. Twice in a row now Suresh Raina has hit the winnings runs. And twice in a row now Suresh Raina and India have been deprived of a boundary.
Against Pakistan, it was a flick [The India-Pakistan scorecard confusion]. On Sunday against West Indies, Suresh Raina’s full blooded cut through point reached the boundary, and though cameras cut away from the batsmen, in the highlights it looks like Rohit Sharma stopped midway after Raina’s hit and didn’t make his ground at the striker’s end. India and Raina were awarded 1 run, and India finished its innings at 130/3 when it should have been 133/3 instead.
Just like popular cricket statistician Mohandas Menon’s reply earlier, the reason for counting the last hit as a single is given by ESPNcricinfo in its text commentary as the crossing over of batsmen, meaning that Raina and Rohit crossed each other before the ball reached the boundary and hence only a single was scored.
But clearly, Law 18 in MCC Laws of Cricket, states that a run is scored “so often as the batsmen, at any time while the ball is in play, have crossed and made good their ground from end to end.”
“Made good their ground from end to end”? Kohli surely didn’t do that against Pakistan and just watched the ball reach the boundary halfway down the pitch. Today, Rohit too let out a sigh of relief before turning around mid-pitch and celebrating with Raina.
3 runs were probably too less to create a hue and cry. But what about 6 now? Can 6 runs, and more importantly, their affect on India’s Net Run Rate be simply ignored? What if this happens in the next match too?
And if after all, everyone is interpreting the winning runs as the crossing over of batsmen, then let’s recall a small controversy that happened in the 5th ODI between Bangladesh and West Indies in December 2012 at Mirpur.
With the series tied 2-2, Bangladesh needed 1 run off 38 balls to win it all. Nasir Hossain chipped a delivery over covers and started celebrating. The batsmen crossed each other too, but Elias Sunny, seeing his partner celebrate, did not complete the run and turned back to join the celebrations, thinking the ball had reached the boundary.
But it hadn’t. Though Bangladesh players invaded the ground, umpires called back Hossain and Sunny and told them the match wasn’t over, that they hadn’t completed the winning run. Everyone returned to their places, Andre Russell bowled the next ball and this time Nasir Hossain cut it away, making sure it crossed the ropes. The winning hit was counted as a four.