Ben Stokes overthrow sequence should have been five runs, not six

While there is a general consensus on the final of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between England and New Zealand at Lord’s on Sunday being the greatest World Cup match ever, the manner in which England became World Champions have left opinions divided.

While the boundaries count-back rule after both teams were tied in regulation time and then the Super-Over, have come under heavy criticism by the cricket fraternity, an overthrow that cost New Zealand six runs in the third fourth delivery of the final over that helped in England secure a tie, is also being looked at as a big umpiring blunder. ALSO READ: ‘That is how it inspires a new generation of cricketers’- Reactions after epic Cricket World Cup 2019 finale

England were awarded six runs after the throw from Martin Guptill from deep midwicket hit Ben Stokes’ bat as he was diving to complete the second run and the ball eventually rolled over the boundary line at deep fine leg. As per the ICC Law 19.8, pertaining to “Overthrow or wilful act of fielder”, that second run should not have been counted, meaning England would have scored five runs off that particular delivery, making the equation 4 runs from two balls.  ALSO READ: Such a shame that the ball hit Ben Stokes’ bat: Kane Williamson

The law states: “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.” ALSO READ: Ben Stokes ‘lost for words’, Jofra Archer cherishes ‘biggest thing’ in his life as England lift maiden World Cup title

The moment the ball hit Stokes’ bat, Stokes second run should have been invalid as video evidence from the match show that Stokes had not completed the run, when the overthrow occurred. While the New Zealand fielders were in a state of confusion, no one protested on giving England six runs.

Umpire Kumar Dharmasena, who was at the bowling end during the final over had a discussion with Marais Erasmus, the square leg umpire, and they decided to award six runs, without actually considering  the above stated law. Thus, robbing New Zealand of one run and subsequently England tied the match to take it to Super Over, where once again the ICC’s law in a situation of a tie in Super Over, boundaries scored in regulation time took precedence over what happened in Super Over and even the wickets.