MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — England’s James Taylor was stranded two runs short of a century against Australia at the Cricket World Cup on Saturday due to an umpiring decision later officially deemed to be incorrect.
Australia was credited with a win by 111 runs after the match ended in bizarre circumstances when Taylor, on 98, was adjudged lbw by umpire Aleem Dar, but had the decision overturned on review by the TV umpire.
Within the same incident, the Australians also appealed for a run out against Jimmy Anderson at the other end, and replays showed the No. 11 was indeed short of his ground. On-field umpires Dar and Kumar Dharmasena then ruled that Anderson was out — and the match over — despite protests from Taylor, who suggested it should have been a dead-ball situation as soon as the initial lbw decision was made.
Chasing Australia’s 342-9, England was all out for 231 in the 42nd over.
The International Cricket Council issued a clarification more than an hour after the match, saying it reviewed the run out decision and agreed it should have been a dead ball.
“The Decision Review System Playing Conditions states that the ball should have been deemed dead when the batsman (James Taylor) was given out lbw. No further runs or dismissals were possible,” the statement said.
“The Playing Control Team spoke to the England team management and acknowledges that the game ended incorrectly and an error was made.”
However, the result was beyond doubt at that stage, with four-time champion Australia in complete control of the game and needing only one wicket to secure the victory in front of 84,000 fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Aaron Finch, who scored 135 in Australia’s big first-innings total, admitted there was confusion at the end of the game.
“I had no idea what was going on,” Finch said. “We appealed for an lbw. We appealed for a run out. We would have taken anything at the time.
“I still don’t know the rule to be honest.”
It’s not the first time a high-profile World Cup match ended in a farcical fashion, and Australia was involved the last time.
In the final at Bridgetown, Barbados, in 2007 when Australia beat Sri Lanka by 53 runs, Sri Lanka was 206-7 with three overs to go when its two batsmen left the field amid dark and overcast conditions, prompting celebrations among the Australians and the crowd, who thought the game was over.
After some confusion on the field, the umpires had the batsmen return to the crease, and the game resumed in near darkness.
Lasith Malinga was subsequently run out, and the final few balls were played out in surreal circumstances as Sri Lanka had no hope of victory.