Mahmudullah bowled one of the most eventful final overs in a T20 match and almost defended seven to give his team a famous win. The over had everything - wickets, boundaries and drama. The situation got more intense when a delivery bowled by Mahmudullah wasn't adjudged legal by the umpire.
Mahmudullah was hit for a six by Iftikhar Ahmed in the fourth delivery and then bounced back by dismissing him which meant Pakistan needed two off the last ball.
Mahmudullah delivered the ball from behind the umpire and Mohammad Nawaz, the batter on strike, pulled out after the ball was bowled. The ball hit the stumps but the umpire declared the ball to be dead and stated that Mahmudullah would have to rebowl it. Mahmudullah agreed to the decision.
But the question is - was Nawaz ready to play the ball and pulled out as he was deceived when Mahmudullah delivered the ball from behind the umpire?
Law 18.104.22.168 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."
So the umpire was satisfied that Nawaz wasn't ready when Mahmudullah was into his delivery stride.
There could've been another debate about whether a ball delivered from behind the umpire would be legal or not. Law 21.5 states that "the bowler's back foot must land within and not touch 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".
As the umpire's interpretation suggested that Nawaz wasn't ready, this law did not come into play.
Mahmudullah, in the post-match press conference, said, "I just asked the umpire if the ball was legal or not since Nawaz pulled out very late. The call of the umpire is final and we respect that."
Many fans on social media have questioned the validity of the decision made by the umpire. The Business Standard (TBS) sought comments from an ICC panel umpire regarding the incident.
He said, "A ball might well be called dead if the batter pulls out (Nawaz's movement) looked a bit late but only the umpire has the authority to adjudge the legality of the ball. For some reason - probably for noise or birds flying in front of the batter - he pulled out. It might not have been caught on camera," he said.
"The on-field umpire rightly made the call and it was accepted sportingly. That's the main thing," added the umpire.