Bizarre drama unfolds between Hyderabad and Karnataka in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy

A crucial encounter between Hyderabad and Karnataka in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 tournament witnessed a controversy over an umpiring error.

Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy
Hyderabad skipper Ambati Rayudu wasn’t impressed with the decision. (Photo Source: Twitter)

A crucial encounter between Hyderabad and Karnataka in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 tournament witnessed a controversy over an umpiring error. The South Zone league game played at the Visakhapatnam’s ACA-VDCA Stadium was marked for being a televised match in which captains of either side were indulged in an argument over awarding two runs to Karnataka’s total. Hyderabad, who elected to field first conceded 205/5 to the opposition which included a two-run addition regarding a boundary which wasn’t awarded earlier in the game.

Karun Nair’s 42-ball 77 with 11 boundaries and Krishnappa Gowtham’s 31-ball 57 with four fours and four sixes added 129 for the 2nd wicket in only 11 overs as Karnataka raised to 140/1 in 12 overs. Hyderabad were found sloppy in the field dropping catches and missing a couple of run-out and stumping opportunities. However, they conceded only 63 runs in the last eight overs to restrict the opposition to a lesser big total. This was Karnataka’s highest total in T20 format surpassing their previous best of 202/8 also against Hyderabad in 2011/12 season.

The origin of the controversy

In the 2nd over of Karnataka’s innings, a flick on the on-side from Karun Nair was fielded at the mid-wicket boundary by Mehedi Hasan, who touched the boundary with the ball in the hand. However, neither on-field umpires nor the 3rd umpire Anil Dandekar bothered to check the fielding effort. Just before the start of Hyderabad’s innings, Karnataka captain Vinay Kumar questioned the on-field umpires Abhijit Deshmukh and Ulhas Vithalrao Gandhe regarding the two runs.

Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy
Fielder touches the rope, but was left unnoticed. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After a long discussion between the on-field and 3rd umpire, it was decided to award the runs to Karnataka only to witness Hyderabad skipper Rayudu entering the field for an explanation along with Pragyan Ojha, who wasn’t in the playing XI.

Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy
Vinay Kumar took it to umpires notice. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Hearing the explanation, Rayudu left the field angrily after which the Hyderabad innings finally commenced with the corrected target of 206. Rayudu and Vinay later shared smiles when the former walked out to bat.

Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy
Ambati Rayudu shows his displeasure at the decision. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Hyderabad’s delayed chase

Hyderabad’s delayed run chase began with Tanmay Agarwal and Akshath Reddy putting up a 60-run opening stand with the latter posting 70 runs off 29 balls. However, the rest of the batting saw a slump as the batsmen to come were struggling to face Karnataka bowling. Only Bavanaka Sandeep was able to post a decent 34 runs in the innings to come. However, don’t let the scoreboard deceive you, their performance was only slightly worse than that of Karnataka. Hyderabad faltered by just two runs, and incidentally, the 2 runs that Karnataka was awarded to their target were what ended up becoming the difference.

In the last ball of the innings, Hyderabad needed 2 to tie and 3 to win the game with Mohammad Siraj being the last man on crease. It was those two runs that were added after Karnataka’s innings that seemed to have turned the game around but it proved to be too much against Stuart Binny who dismissed him for a duck. Karnataka robbed the game with just the eight runs needed off the final over. In a final over, that threatened to get ruined by a no ball, he held his nerve and cleaned up Hyderabad’s inexperience with his own experience, ending the game with 3 wickets to his name.

The drama’s not over

Naturally, Rayudu was livid after that and then began Hyderabad’s protest, all for those 2 runs that cost them the game. Vinay Kumar and Rayudu were back in an intense argument with the match referee regarding the extra two runs added to Karnataka’s score. Both the captains led their respective teams to the middle. It was clear by then that the second game might just get shortened. Cricbuzz described it as “farcical scenes out in Vishakapatnam.”

Eventually, Kerala and Andhra were kept waiting for their match to start. It ended up becoming a reduced affair of 13 overs per side. In the end, it was a win-win situation for Karnataka, who have managed to stay alive in the tournament and hurting not only Hyderabad’s cause but also that of Kerala and Andhra who had to play a much shorter game.

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