NEW DELHI: Shocking scenes unfolded at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai during the final over of the high-scoring Delhi Capitals vs Rajasthan Royals clash on Friday as the dramatic events overshadowed an epic 15-run Royals victory.
And at the centre of the ugly scenes were the on-field umpires — Nitin Menon and Nikhil Patwardhan, who faced the wrath of the Delhi Capitals outfit and the fans inside the stadium for what looked like a no ball gaffe.
The final-over no ball controversy that shook the cricketing world last night is now officially the first major controversy of the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League.
Chasing a mammoth 223 for victory, DC needed 36 runs of the last 6 balls. Obed McCoy was to bowl the final over and hard-hitting Rovman Powell was on strike.
The Jamaican slammed the first two balls of the over for a six and then the third ball as well for a maximum but the waist high full-toss that McCoy bowled as the third ball became a point of major contention.
As soon as Powell slammed the third ball for a six, he immediately asked the umpire Nitin Menon for the delivery to be declared as a no ball. But the on-field umpires did not judge the waist high full-toss as a no ball and asked the batters to carry on.
Powell then asked the umpires to refer it to the third umpire but on-field umpires Menon and Patwardhan denied his suggestion.
This dismissal of referral to the third umpire stunned the Delhi Capitals unit and they, led by captain Rishabh Pant started objecting from their dug out, indicating to the umpires to refer the decision upstairs.
The umpires refused. The third umpire didn’t offer a review.
Things really threatened to go completely out of control as Rishabh Pant was seen signalling the Delhi batsmen to leave the field and walk back, suggesting that he was willing to concede the match in protest against the umpiring decision.
#RRvsDC JOS THE BOSS hit 116 runs for RR but Delhi was still on the game 🔥 until Powell was on the strike but the… https://t.co/VCoe2KSA13— Twinkle Agrawal (@Twinkle_Agrawl) 1650681051000
Rishabh Pant is calling his batsmen back because the umpires are not checking the no ball #IPL2022 https://t.co/AMRYbgm6qx— India Fantasy (@india_fantasy) 1650650349000
1st ever declaration in T20 by Rishabh Pant 🤣Pant on fire 🔥🥵But that is clearly no ball 😏#Pant #Powell #RRvsDC… https://t.co/6vN8MYjMQ1— Nara Akhil Chowdhury (@prabhas_mania17) 1650651415000
But somehow, the senior DC support staff members like Shane Watson stepped in and were seen talking to Pant and that eventually led to sending in one of DC’s coaches Pravin Amre to the middle to have a word with the on-field umpires, which was criticised by the on air commentators, because at the end of the day the umpire’s decision is final.
The umpires did not budge and asked the players to continue with the match.
While all of this was happening, the on air commentators too questioned the umpires’ bizarre resistance to go upstairs.
But along with that, the commentators were also highly critical of the way Rishabh Pant overreacted, asking his players to walk out.
As the match resumed after a halt of around 5-7 minutes, McCoy then bowled the fourth ball as the dot ball. Off the fifth ball of the over a couple of runs were scored and the last ball yielded the wicket of Powell.
While smacking 36 runs off the last over was highly unlikely and would have been unprecedented, Powell had done half the job. The momentum was with Powell and McCoy was under tremendous pressure. If there was no disruption of the sort that was witnessed, maybe Powell would have slammed 3 sixes off the last 3 balls to achieve the unprecedented. But the no ball scenes definitely halted the momentum for Powell and gave McCoy a chance to settle himself. He eventually led the Royals to a 15-run win with three good balls to finish the 20th over.
After the match Rishabh admitted that sending coach Amre to the middle was not the right decision but he also strongly pointed fingers at the umpiring decision.
“I think they were bowling well throughout the game but in the end Powell gave us a chance, I thought that no-ball could have been precious for us but it is not in my control. Yes, disappointed but can’t do much about it. Everyone was frustrated (in the dugout) that it was not even close, everyone in the ground saw that, I think the third umpire should have interfered and said it was a no-ball. Obviously it wasn’t right (sending Amre onto the field) but what happened with us is also not right, it happened in the heat of the moment. It was the fault from both sides and it is disappointing as we have seen some good umpiring in the tournament. It is disappointing to go so close especially when the other team has scored 200+,” Rishabh said after the match.
Fans inside the stadium too expressed their displeasure and chants of “cheater cheater” referring to the umpires were heard.
It was a no ball, clear cut no ball.Whole crowd was chanting Cheater Cheater Worst decision from umpireSad for… https://t.co/icXzPYiRQp— 👑🔔 (@superking1814) 1650651497000
Later in the night, social media too erupted and joined the chorus of criticising the umpires. Some of them were also critical of Pant’s behaviour during this entire episode.
So umpires check no balls for front foot every ball, but can’t check a high full toss? Makes sense… https://t.co/RUOX3Yh3YF— Glenn Maxwell (@Gmaxi_32) 1650650809000
Retweet this tweet if you think it is a no ball https://t.co/QcO2NvqSn0— Bavuma(GT & KKR fan) (@goatbavuma) 1650650879000
Respect to this guy. Umpires have been horrible in this tournament. They refer everything to third umpires even if… https://t.co/LnRbrtRlO8— squineon (@squineon) 1650651602000
Watched the match live in stadium!!!!Crowd goes absolute bonkers over “no ball” and chanted “cheater cheater” in… https://t.co/Bruky5VCkB— Aman Jain (@amanj0104) 1650657994000