As per a new clause in T20I playing conditions, both India and Pakistan were forced to position an extra fielder inside the 30-yard circle in the final stages of their bowling innings in their Asia Cup meeting on Sunday.
Both sides failed to be in a position to bowl the first ball of their final over by the scheduled end of innings time, and were penalised by the added restriction for slow over-rate, introduced in January this year.
Bowling first, India had bowled fewer than 18 overs in the allotted time, meaning Rohit Sharma was forced to field with five fielders inside the circle for the final two overs. The side gave away 23 runs across the eleven balls, bowling Pakistan out for 147 with one ball left in the innings.In India’s chase, Pakistan found themselves in a similar situation, running out of time and needing to bowl the final three overs under the same restriction. Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya capitalised on the extra fielder in, scoring the 32 runs required for victory, and completing the chase with two balls to spare.
Speaking to the press after the victory, fast-bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar says the forced fielding changes were a good lesson to learn with big matches on the horizon.
“It is one of the points where you can win or lose the match in the last few overs. It was evenly poised but yes, we always talk about the run-rate because even in the final of the Asia Cup or in the World Cup, if this happens, we can lose the match, and that’s not the nice way to lose a match.
“We always address these things and definitely, this thing will be discussed in the next meeting we will have.”
The change was recommended by the ICC Cricket Committee last year, an organisation that sits in part to improve the pace of play in all formats. The first match played under the revised playing conditions was a one-off T20I match between the West Indies and Ireland at Sabina Park in mid-January.
The in-match penalties are in addition to the sanctions for slow over rate outlined in Article 2.22 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, and the same restriction will be in place at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia in October and November this year.