Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Hyderabad, Karnataka embroiled in controversy

The incident, however, is not without precedent. India and Australia, in an encounter during the 1987 World Cup, jostled with a similar challenge.

Off the fourth ball of the second over, Hyderabad’s deep midwicket fielder Mehdi Hasan’s foot touched the ropes. Umpire Ulhas Gandhe signalled Karun Nair two runs instead of a boundary. (File Image)   -  G.P. Sampath Kumar

The Hyderabad-Karnataka Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 match, which went down to the wire at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy stadium here on Thursday, was mired in controversy.

Off the fourth ball of the second over, Hyderabad’s deep midwicket fielder Mehdi Hasan’s foot touched the ropes. Umpire Ulhas Gandhe signalled Karun Nair two runs instead of a boundary.

Hyderabad’s chase got off to a delayed start. To the 203 for five wickets, two runs (which eventually decided the contest) were added to Karnataka’s total. The on-field scoreboard displayed a target of 206.

Hyderabad captain Ambati Rayudu took it up with the umpire. "There was some confusion in the middle at the start of our innings. What I went and told the umpire was 'sir you cannot change the score, we are batting for 204 as our target,’ ” said Rayudu.

"He said 'we'll see it at the end, let the match start.’ The match was stopped for nine minutes, before the second innings. They had no business to stop the match once the target was declared,” Rayudu opined.

After the game, several Hyderabad players entered the square. "At the end, we went and asked to start the Super Over. That is exactly our point of contention. We never even thought of stopping the second match (which was reduced to 13-overs-a-side). We were insisting that our match was not complete, we still have to play the Super Over,” Rayudu reasoned.

Karnataka Manager B. Siddaramu said that when TV replays pointed out the boundary, they brought it to the notice of third umpire Anil Dandekar, who in turn alerted the concerned on-field umpire Gandhe. “Due to a communication gap between the umpire and scorers, the two runs were not added,” he said.

The incident, however, is not without precedent. In the 1987 World Cup match in Chennai, Australia batsman Dean Jones played a lofted shot, and umpire Dickie Bird signalled a boundary going by Ravi Shastri's word, who was manning the mid-off boundary at the time.

Jones spoke to Bird and as did Australian manager Alan Crompton after the innings. The umpires approached Indian captain Kapil Dev. The boundary was revised to a six in a game that Australia won by a run. Importantly, officials consulted the aggrieved side's captain.