India vs Pakistan T20 World Cup: How Virat Kohli got three byes after being bowled on free hit - dead ball controversy, rules explained

India vs Pakistan, T20 World Cup: Despite fans and former cricketers citing a dead ball, Virat Kohli was awarded three byes after he was bowled off a freehit delivery during India’s chase on Sunday.

India’s Virat Kohli is bowled no a free-hit ball during from Pakistan spinner Mohammad Nawaz in the final over of the chase.

India’s Virat Kohli is bowled no a free-hit ball during from Pakistan spinner Mohammad Nawaz in the final over of the chase. | Photo Credit: AFP

India vs Pakistan, T20 World Cup: Despite fans and former cricketers citing a dead ball, Virat Kohli was awarded three byes after he was bowled off a freehit delivery during India’s chase on Sunday.

India’s thrilling four-wicket win over Pakistan in the 2022 T20 World Cup Super 12 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground witnessed moments of controversy before Virat Kohli’s unbeaten 82 helped his team seal the chase on Sunday.

With 13 required off three balls, Kohli struck a six over deep mid-wicket off a waist-high full toss which was deemed to be a contentious no-ball call by the umpires, leaving Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and Co. confused. It was followed by a wide which extended the free hit ball.

Matters flared up soon when Kohli was bowled off the free hit delivery, and he along with Dinesh Karthik, reeled in three byes as the ball trickled down towards third-man. The Pakistan team was then involved in a brief discussion with the umpires who eventually adjudged the runs in India’s favour.

Former cricketers including Australia’s Brad Hogg and several Pakistan fans objected that a batter bowled off a free hit would result in a dead ball that prevents further scoring from the same delivery.

Can a batter run off a freehit despite being bowled?

While allegations of a dead ball hit India’s sensational chase, the MCC’s Laws of Cricket states that: “20.1.1 The ball becomes dead when,

20.1.1.1 it is finally settled in the hands of the wicket-keeper or of the bowler.

20.1.1.2 a boundary is scored. See clause 19.7 (Runs scored from boundaries).

20.1.1.3 a batter is dismissed. The ball will be deemed to be dead from the instant of the incident causing the dismissal.”

Since a free hit only allows four modes of dismissals - handled the ball, hit the ball twice, obstructing the field and run out - and bowled not being one of them, India was awarded the bye as the ball was still in play. It left India requiring two runs off two deliveries in the chase.

While Karthik was stumped off the penultimate delivery, Ravichandran Ashwin sealed the win with a lofted shot over mid-off off the last ball from left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz.

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