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Bangladesh v Pakistan 2021

Watch: Dead-ball drama as Mohammad Nawaz backs away at last second, gets bowled by behind-the-umpire Mahmudullah delivery in incredible Ban-Pak T20I finish

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Watch: The T20I series between Pakistan and Bangladesh ended on a controversial note as Mohammad Nawaz backed away after bowler Mahmmudullah had released the ball on the last ball of the game, which led to the delivery being bowled again with Pakistan needing two to win.

Chasing 125 for their third win of the series, visitors Pakistan were well on course for a win, needing 26 from the last four overs against Bangladesh. Some tight bowling, however, saw the equation come down to eight off the 20th over, but Mahmudullah, who had not bowled earlier in the game, raised his hand to send down an over for the ages.

A dot was followed by two wickets off the next two balls, as Sarfaraz Ahmed and Haider Ali were sent back to the pavilion. The fourth ball of the over was hit for a huge six as Iftikhar Ahmed smashed a leg-cutter straight down the ground. The bowler, however, had the last laugh as Iftikhar edged one to backward point, leaving Pakistan with two to get off the last ball.

After a lengthy chat with the wicketkeeper, Mahmudullah was ready to send down the last ball with Nawaz getting into his stance. However, the batter pulled out after the ball was released, with Mahmudullah releasing the ball from behind the umpire. The ball went on to hit the stumps as a dead ball was declared with Bangladesh agreeing to bowl the delivery again.

Law states that a dead ball will be called if “the striker is not ready for the delivery of the ball and, if the ball is delivered, makes no attempt to play it. Provided the umpire is satisfied that the striker had adequate reason for not being ready, the ball shall not count as one of the over.” Mahmudullah accepted the umpire’s decision without much question, but there was some debate over social media over the validity of the call.

Law 21.5 states that “the bowler’s back foot must land within and not touching the return crease” and that “if the bowler’s end umpire is not satisfied that all of these three conditions have been met, he/she shall call and signal No ball”, but since dead ball was called, rather than no ball, this law wasn’t invoked in this case, meaning the decision hinged on whether, in the umpire’s interpretation, Nawaz was not ready, and had “adequate reason for not being ready”.

Take two had Mahmudullah stop in his delivery stride before the ball was bowled at the third attempt. It was heartbreak for the hosts, though, as Nawaz danced down the track to send the ball for a four.

Watch Mohammad Nawaz pulling out of his stance as Mahmudullah releases the ball here:

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