The ongoing second Test between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe witnessed a bizarre incident on the ground. In the third session of Day 3, Zimbabwe were at 281/8 in 90.5 overs, but what happened in the very next ball took the cricket world by surprise. Sikandar Raza (79*) was holding one end for Zimbabwe, while bowler Blessing Muzarabani was on the other side (0*). On the last ball of the 91st over, Raza hit a yorker ball through the cover region. The ball stopped inches short of the boundary ropes but when the Afghanistan fielder, Hashmatullah Shahidi, picked the ball, he deliberately put one of his feet outside the boundary ropes.
The move was intentional as it was the last ball of the over and a boundary to Raza meant that he would have gone to the non-striker’s end in the very next over. Well aware of the mindset of the fielder, the on-ground umpires Ahmed Shah Pakteen and Aleem Dar had a chat and then decided to penalize Afghanistan one run, citing rule 19.8 of The Laws of Cricket. The decision eventually saw Raza returning to the strike on the very next ball.
Post the verdict, many fans were left surprised on how Raza retained the strike despite hitting a boundary on the last ball of the previous over. The confusion among the fans has taken the Twitter by storm wherein they are pitching their doubt to clarify it.
What is rule 19.8 in Laws of Cricket?
Rule 19.8 (Overthrow or willful act of fielder) states, “If the boundary results from an overthrow or from the willful act of a fielder, the runs scored shall be any runs for penalties awarded to either side and the allowance for the boundary and the runs completed by the batsmen, together with the run in progress if they had already crossed at the instant of the throw or act.”