Updated: February 4, 2018 8:31:38 pm
ICC on Sunday came in for sharp criticism after match officials and umpires called for the second ODI between India and South Africa to be halted even though the former needed just two runs to win. Virat Kohli-led India were cruising to victory and with the skipper and Shikhar Dhawan in the middle, needed just two runs to chase down the small 119-run target.
Both the on-field umpires – Aleem Dar and Adrian Holdstock – and match referee Andy Pycroft were criticised by TV commentators and pundits alike, who termed their decision to call for lunch as per ICC’s ‘rigid’ playing condition rules as ‘farce’.
India had won the toss and chosen to field first in Centurion. With Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav causing all sorts of trouble with their wrist spin, South Africa were bundled out for 118 – before the cutoff time for a mid-innings break. India came back to bat and were in cruise control through Kohli and Dhawan. With India near the winning line, the session was extended to ensure the game was over before the break. At the scheduled time of break, India were 93 for one after 15 overs.
After 18 overs, India had reached 117/1 when the umpires called for lunch. The decision left everyone surprised – including Kohli – who looked shockingly at the umpires before begrudgingly heading for the break. The duo reemerged 40 minutes later and after nine balls completed the comprehensive win.
“They (ICC) want to make the game attractive but this was a ridiculous decision,” said West Indies legend Michael Holding said while commentating.
The third lunch ODI in the series wil take place on February 7.
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