IPL: 4 times umpiring errors changed the outcome of a match

Suhas Jirgi
·8-min read

Hey Ump! [Pc:IndiaTVNews.com]
Hey Ump! [Pc:IndiaTVNews.com]

The implementation of technology in cricket has always been a hotly debated topic. Umpires get heavily criticised for making errors in high-profile competitions like the IPL.

Such an instance recently propped up in a Dream11 IPL 2020 game between the Kings XI Punjab and the Delhi Capitals. Though the decision pertained to a single run, it had a significant effect on the outcome of the match.

Unfortunately, it was not the first time an umpiring lapse affected the outcome of a game in the IPL. While the DRS has drastically brought down umpiring howlers (Charles Davis' article claims that DRS successfully overturns 26% of on-field decisions on an average), there are still numerous chinks in the technology. There have been plenty of high-profile instances around the world where umpiring errors have cost teams matches, and such examples also abound in the IPL too.

Many umpiring errors in the IPL tend to be overlooked as they do not affect the outcomes of games. However, there have been several instances in the competition that have potentially altered the outcomes of matches

#4 IPL 2019 RCB vs MI: Lasith Malinga oversteps

Overstepping Bounds [Pc: Firstpost.com]
Overstepping Bounds [Pc: Firstpost.com]

This moment was perhaps the catalyst that led to the introduction of the TV umpire checking for no-balls in IPL 2020. While umpires have missed front-foot no-balls on previous occasions, this particular instance stood out as it came in a key game.

In an IPL 2019 game between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Mumbai Indians (MI) in the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, the visitors posted 187-8 after batting first.

RCB needed 17 runs in the final over bowled by Lasith Malinga. The Red and Gold franchise fancied their chances of a win as AB de Villiers 68 (39) was at the crease playing his characteristic destructive innings. RCB managed ten runs of the first five balls. With Shivam Dube failing to dispatch the final delivery for a boundary, MI won the match by five runs.

However, the drama had just started. The big screen showed that Lasith Malinga had overstepped in the last delivery by a long way. Had it been spotted by the umpire, RCB would have got an extra run and an extra ball to try and get the remaining runs.

Unfortunately, the decision could not be overturned, and the match was over. However, that did not stop Virat Kohli from voicing his displeasure during the post-match press conference:

We are playing at the IPL level and not playing club cricket. The umpires should have had their eyes open. That is a ridiculous call (last ball). If it is a game of margins, I don't know what is happening.

#3 IPL 2018 SRH vs CSK: Another no-ball missed

A South-Indian Derby [Pc: Espncricinfo.com]
A South-Indian Derby [Pc: Espncricinfo.com]

This game has many parallels with the one between RCB and MI in IPL 2019. Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) were asked to chase down a 180+ total against multi-time IPL winners Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in a game in the 2018 edition of the competiiton.

Like in the RCB - MI match, this one also featured a contentious umpiring call that could have changed the outcome of the game.

SRH required a daunting 19 runs to win in the final over but could manage only 14 to lose the game by four runs. However, what irked SRH was the second delivery of the 17th over. Shardul Thakur bowled a full-toss that was well above batsman Kane Williamson's waist-level, but the umpire did not call a no-ball.

Had that been called, SRH could potentially have had three runs to chase down with one ball remaining and would have even received a free hit for that no-ball. SRH captain Kane Williamson mentioned as much in his post-match analysis:

"Even the SRH players were quite disturbed about the fact that the umpire missed out on a genuine no-ball. There is no denying the fact that errors happen, but when there is technology available, the umpires should take help in case of doubt. This is happening too often in IPL"

#2 IPL 2019 Final: MS Dhoni gets run out

MS Dhoni was controversially run out in the 2019 IPL final.
MS Dhoni was controversially run out in the 2019 IPL final.

Of all the entries in this list, the on-field umpires were the least culpable for this one. However, it still features in this list as it occurred in an IPL final where the winner of the tournament was decided by just one run. Moreover, experts (and many fans) believe that the wrong call was made in this instance.

With MI hobbling to 149/8 in the 2019 IPL final, CSK would have fancied their chances to chase down the runs given their batting depth. A turning point, however, occurred in the 13th over of the CSK chase. MS Dhoni was beginning to get set when he was run out by Ishan Kishan.

After Shane Watson had played the ball onto the leg-side for a single, an overthrow enabled him to attempt a second. However, there was a direct hit at the non-striker's end that was referred to the third umpire.

The third umpire, who is aided by cutting-edge technology, usually makes the right decisions. This run-out instance was too close to call, though. Even the commentators were unsure of which way the third umpire would go. When the red light came out, a huge debate about the call started.

There was nothing CSK could have done on the occasion as it is not possible to review a third umpire's decision. However, fans on either side tend to agree that the winner of IPL 2019 could have been different had the third umpire decided to go the other way in that instance.

#1 IPL 2020 KXIP vs DC: Punjab docked a run

The match-defining 'Short' [Pc: TheTechEducation.com]
The match-defining 'Short' [Pc: TheTechEducation.com]

If you need to convince anyone that an IPL match could have momentum-swinging like a pendulum, advise them to check out the IPL 2020 match between Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Delhi Capitals (DC). Despite featuring last-over drama, bowling blitzes and even a super over, the most talked-about moment in the game was a double taken in the 19th over of the Kings XI Punjab's chase against DC.

Mayank Agarwal was single-handedly guiding KXIP to an unlikely win in their IPL 2020 tournament opener. Chasing 158 for victory, Agarwal paced his innings of 89 off 60 to near perfection as he almost guided his team home.

He levelled the scores with three balls to spare, but what happened next was maddening drama. On the cusp of victory, Kings XI spectacularly imploded. The last three deliveries of the final over produced zero runs and two wickets as Marcus Stoinis, who had earlier shone with the bat, held his nerve spectacularly to push the game into a super over where Kings XI could muster only two runs, which the boys from Delhi chased down with barely a hassle.

So what was the controversial moment in the game? It was in the penultimate over when Mayank Agarwal was docked a run after the umpire felt that the batsman had made a short run.

Replays, however, revealed that the umpires had made the wrong call. Agarwal had indeed completed the run. What irked cricket fans even more was the fact that the umpire did not even bother to check with the TV umpire before declaring that the run was short.

That one run docked meant that Kings XI Punjab missed out on two valuable points in the league table, something that might come back to haunt them if they fail to make the playoffs.