Confusion reigned supreme in what turned out to be a humdinger of a cricket encounter between Karnataka and Hyderabad at Vizag on Thursday. Karnataka eventually won by two runs in the Syed Mushtaq Ali South Zone T20 league fixture, but those two runs became the bone of contention for Hyderabad, as the Ambati Rayudu-led side felt proper process was not followed by the match officials in awarding two extra runs to the Karnataka total after the innings break.
The prelude to the halfway mark fiasco was a Karun Nair flick off Mohammed Siraj that went towards deep midwicket, with Mehdi Hassan chasing to save the boundary. The fielder stopped the ball before it reached the fence, while the batsmen ran two. But replays clearly showed Hassan’s foot had touched the boundary rope when he made contact with the ball. The on-field umpires, Abhijit Deshmukh and Ulhas Gandhe, however, didn’t refer the matter to the third umpire and got on with the game. Karnataka finished their innings at 203/5 but their total was increased to 205 just before Hyderabad began their chase. The addition apparently came on the heels of Karnataka captain Vinay Kumar taking his protest to the umpires.
The match officials’ handling of the affair didn’t go down well with Rayudu, the Hyderabad captain. “There was some confusion at the start of our innings. I told the umpire, ‘sir, you can’t change the score and we are playing for 204 as our target’. He (umpire) told me, ‘we will see it at the end, let the match start’. Vinay Kumar stopped for nine minutes before the second innings. They had no business, stopping the match once the target was declared,” Rayudu told reporters after the match. He added: “At the end, we went and asked to start the Super Over. We never thought of stopping the second match. We were saying that our match was not complete and we still have to play the Super Over.” The Hyderabad captain stressed that he was pretty sure about the rules and if those two runs were added in the immediate aftermath of the incident, it would have been “perfect”.
Karnataka team manager, B Siddaramu, when contacted by The Indian Express, refused to speak on the subject. “You contact match referee (Rajib Deb Burman),” he said. The BCCI, however, has taken note. Its Twitter post read: “The BCCI has taken cognizance of the events that unfolded during and after the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2018 match today between Hyderabad-Karnataka. An official report by the Match Referee is awaited, following which appropriate action as per BCCI’s Code of Conduct will be taken.”
Hyderabad, meanwhile, lost three wickets – two run outs – in the final over of the match, falling short by two runs. Akshath Reddy’s 29-ball 70, with three fours and seven sixes, went in vain. Hyderabad, though, stayed in the middle, pressing for the Super Over. The second game between Kerala and Andhra at the same ground was delayed in the process and had to be truncated to 13-overs-a-side.
Brief scores: Karnataka 205/5 in 20 overs (Karun Nair 77, K Gowtham 57) beat Hyderabad 203/9 in 20 overs (Akshath Reddy 70; Stuart Binny 3/29) by 2 runs.