Simon Taufel, former elite panel umpire, has said that England should have been awarded 5 runs and not 6 in the final match at Lord’s. The action took place in the final over of the 50th over of England’s chase when Ben Stokes pushed a ball towards mid-wicket and sprinted off to complete a brace. Martin Guptill swooped on the ball, picked it up and hurled a throw towards the striker’s end. Stokes, in a desperate attempt to make his ground, dived full stretch, but the ball hit the edge of the bat and raced away past short fine leg for a boundary which reduced the equation to 3 off the final 2 deliveries.
A day after the match Taufel claimed that the umpires made ‘an error of judgment’ in applying an obscure clause in the MCC’s laws — which both awarded England an extra run and kept Stokes on strike.
“It’s a clear mistake … it’s an error of judgment,” Taufel told foxsports.com.au on Monday.
The relevant clause from the MCC rulebook says:
If the boundary results from an overthrow or from the wilful act of a fielder, the runs scored shall be
— any runs for penalties awarded to either side
— and the allowance for the boundary
— and the runs completed by the batsmen, together with the run in progress if they had already crossed at the instant of the throw or act.
However, he was quick to defend the on-field umpires as well and said that the umpires had a difficult decision to make since there were so many moving parts.
“In the heat of what was going on, they thought there was a good chance the batsmen had crossed at the instant of the throw” Taufel added.
“The difficulty you (umpires) have here is you’ve got to watch batsmen completing runs, then change focus and watch for the ball being picked up, and watch for the release (of the throw),” he said.
“You also have to watch where the batsmen are at that exact moment.”
He also added that the decision should not be seen as one which solely decided the result of the game.
“It’s unfair on England, New Zealand and the umpires involved to say it decided the outcome,” Taufel said.