In a bizarre decision during the second ODI between India and South Africa, the on-field umpires announced innings break when India needed just two more runs to win the match at the SuperSport Park in Centurion on Sunday. But former India opener Virender Sehwag viewed it in his own funny way.
India dismissed the hosts for a mere 118 and then romped to 117/1 in 19 overs, which is when players from both the teams left the field for lunch, much to the dismay of India captain Virat Kohli, who was batting in the middle with opener Shikhar Dhawan.
India were 93/1 after 15 overs at the scheduled time of break. In terms of the playing conditions, the umpires extended play by four overs or 15 minutes. But an innovative Sehwag read the situation as this: "Umpires treating Indian batsmen like PSU Bank treat customers. Lunch ke baad aana (come after lunch)," he tweeted.
Umpires treating Indian batsmen like PSU Bank treat customers. Lunch ke baad aana #INDvSA
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) February 4, 2018
When the teams returned to the park, almost 80 percent of the fans had left the arena with the result only a formality.
Dhawan (51*) played out a maiden and Kohli (46*) scored a couple off the second ball he faced in the next over to complete India's win, which gave the visitors a 2-0 lead in the six-match series.
The ICC also came in for sharp criticism for its bizarre rules on playing conditions.
The decision did not go down well with all and sundry because the umpires had already extended pre-lunch play by three overs. But to the astonishment of players, spectators and commentators, the umpires stuck to the letter of the regulations.
West Indian great Micheal Holding termed the decision as "ridiculous".
"They (ICC) want to make the game attractive but this was a ridiculous decision," Holding said while commentating.
In fact, neither of the team looked happy with the decision.
(With agency inputs)