Wednesday, 31 January 2007


It was a good win for the New Zealanders last night, although a bonus point would have been nice. That bonus point might have come too, if it weren't for some poor umpiring. The Guardian's over-by-over coverage tells us that Nixon was incorrectly judged to be not-out by the umpires in both the 46th and 48th overs. And Jeetan Patel had a catch off his bowling ruled not out because the umpire incorrectly no-balled him. We shouldn't grumble too much though, because a poor decision not to refer a stumping chance off Ross Taylor to the third umpire benefited New Zealand.

In truth, the umpiring in this series has been dreadful so far. The no-balling is a particular aggrivation for me. The no-ball rule is designed to prevent a bowler taking an advantage. Not only is the overly strict interpretation being dished out in Australia occasionally proved to be wrong, but it also serves little purpose. Jeetan Patel will get no advantage from bowling one centimetre over the popping crease, so why should he be punished for it? Sure, he should be no-balled if he clearly oversteps by a decent margin - but Asif Rauf's vigilance just appears like petty officiating just for the sake of petty officiating. Frankly, I think we would all be better off if he keep his eyes on the ball - and not on the bowler's feet.

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