Punjab Kings remained in contention to qualify for the playoffs thanks to a six-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders in Dubai on Friday. The victory helped PBKS go level on 10 points with KKR and Mumbai Indians, who have a game in hand over both the teams. Captain KL Rahul anchored the chase for his team, scoring 67 off 55 as PBKS chased down the 166-run target with three balls to spare. However, things could have been different had KL Rahul been given out in the penultimate over of the chase but the third umpire made a huge call, deciding that KKR’s Rahul Tripathi had not taken the catch cleanly.
Rahul pulled a shortish Shivam Mavi delivery with Rahul Tripathi running in from the deep and diving catch to take a brilliant catch, or that’s what many thought. But the third umpire thought otherwise.
Former cricketers Gautam Gambhir and Graeme Swann, speaking on Star Sports’ post-match show, tore into the third umpire.
Ex-KKR captain Gambhir termed the decision a “shocker”.
“That was a shocker. This can end someone’s campaign. It was clearly out. He shouldn’t have even seen the replay more than once. Even without the slow-mo, it looked out. Things could have changed. We have seen Punjab panic in the last over. These sort of shockers cannot happen, especially at the level of IPL. It could be very unfair not only to the player but to the entire franchise,” said Gambhir.
Former England spinner didn’t mince his words either, calling the decision one of the “worst” third umpiring calls he had seen
“I have just witnessed one of the worst bits of third umpiring in my life. That is blatantly out. Running in and taken a brilliant catch. That is superb. It’s out in full motion,” said Swann.
“That shouldn’t have been looked into anyway but they have looked at it, there is none of that silly soft signal anymore. The third umpire has somehow not got the cricketing knowledge to know that’s out. He’s looked at it from four or five angles that we saw up close and it never looked not out at any point. And yet he gave him not out. It’s terrible umpiring. That was just a joke.”
While Rahul was dismissed on the second ball of the final over, PBKS’ Shahrukh Khan kept his cool to get the team over the line.
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