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Watch: Controversial third umpire stumping decision denies Sarfaraz Ahmed a dream comeback century

Watch: Controversial Third Umpire Stumping Decision Denies Sarfaraz Ahmed A Dream Comeback Century
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Watch: Sarfaraz Ahmed was denied a fairytale comeback century after a 50-50 third umpire decision went against him after a sharp leg side stumping from Tom Blundell off the bowling of Daryl Mitchell.

The incident occurred with Pakistan enjoying a good third day of the second Test match against New Zealand. Having put on 178 runs for just the one wicket of Imam-ul-Haq, Saud Shakeel had brought up his maiden Test century in the over before Sarfaraz’s dismissal with Pakistan trailing New Zealand by 117. With the former Pakistan captain on 78 not out, Daryll Mitchell came into the attack for the first time in the innings.

Mitchell, who has only previously taken two wickets in his Test career, already had Sarfaraz given out lbw off his first ball, the Pakistan wicketkeeper opting for the review which showed a faint inside edge. On the third delivery of Mitchell’s over, he bowled full and on leg side with Sarfaraz slightly overbalancing and dragging his back foot out of the crease. While trying to drag his other foot back behind the line, Tom Blundell expertly whipped the bails off in one fast, smooth movement.

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The on-field umpires sent the decision upstairs to TV Umpire Ahsan Raza. The first images presented to Raza were from the off-side camera which appeared to show Sarfaraz briefly lifting his foot slightly off the ground at the point the bails were removed. It was a tough call given how close Sarfaraz’s spikes were to the ground but there looked to be enough evidence from the first camera angle for an out decision.

However, after repeatedly ‘rocking and rolling’ the images back and forward from the off-side camera, the third umpire was presented with footage from the leg-side camera which appeared to show Sarfaraz’s foot grounded at the point Blundell removed the bails. Putting the two images next to each other at the point where the bails lit up, there appeared to be significant doubt over whether Sarfaraz’s foot had left the ground.

Nevertheless, when the decision was shown on the big screen Sarfaraz was given out and had to walk off 22 runs short of what would have been a dream century at his home ground, in his first Test series for Pakistan since January 2019.

Watch Sarfaraz’s controversial dismissal below

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