Umpires have been in the eye of storm in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 for all the wrong reasons. Howlers and failure to spot no-balls have left quite a few players, including MS Dhoni, disappointed in the ongoing season.
On Wednesday, a bizzare incident involving umpires left players confused and in splits at the same time during Match 42 of IPL 2019 between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Play was halted for a brief period of time after a strategic timeout during the Royal Challengers Bangalore innings as players and umpires couldn’t find the matchball while play resumed after the break.
Kings XI Punjab fast bowler Ankit Rajpoot, who was gearing up to bowl the 14th over, asked his skipper R Ashwin the match ball after not finding it anywhere on the field. A confused R Ashwin walked up to umpire Shamshuddin to enquire about the lost ball.
However, neither the players nor Shamshuddin were able to figure where the ball ahd gone. Leg-umpire Bruce Oxenford had to rush to clear the confusion but he too seemingly had no idea about the ball’s whereabouts.
The confusion left AB de Villiers in splits.
The fourth umpire then rushed onto the field with a new set of match balls. Even as the umpires decided to replace the lost ball, television replays played on the big screen. The replays showed Oxenford handing the match ball to Shamshuddin before the timeout. Shamsuddin was seen putting the ball into his pockets.
Realising his slip up, Shamshuddin rushed to the centre of the pitch and handed the match ball to the bowler. The fourth umpire, with a set of new match balls, then hurried off the field before play resumed.
MUST WATCH: Where’s the Ball? Ump pocket
IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 24, 2019
Meanwhile, Royal Challengers Bangalore posted a mamoth total of 202 despite losing their star batsmen in Virat Kohli and Moeen Ali cheaply.
AB de Villiers, unperturbed by the on-field distraction, took the Kings XI Punjab bowlers to the cleaners and hit a 44 ball 82, including 7 sixes and 3 boundaries, to fire RCB past the 200-run mark.
Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis joined the party and smashed 46 off 34 balls. De Villiers and Stoinis remained unbeaten as the two batsmen stitched a 121-run stand for the fifth wicket.