Kohli was the first to fall.
Kohli was the first to fall.

Kohli fumes after another controversy rocks the IPL

Virat Kohli has come out spitting fire and the rest of the cricket world reacted with equal disbelief after more controversy rocked the Indian Premier League (IPL) overnight.

In a week where Ravi Ashwin's decision to Mankad Jos Buttler has sparked furious debate about the grey area between the rules and the spirit of cricket, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) was the victim of a glaring officiating blunder as it lost to the Mumbai Indians by just six runs.

Needing seven to win from the final ball, RCB didn't even bother taking a single when it was bunted down the ground as it finished on 5/181 in pursuit of Mumbai's 8/187. But controversy soon erupted when replays on the big screen showed Lasith Malinga had escaped sanction for a front-foot no-ball.

The Sri Lankan quick clearly overstepped the mark with his final delivery, which should have given Bangalore one last chance to save its skin with an extra run and a free hit, but the umpire missed it and the game was over.

South African superstar AB de Villiers was unbeaten on 70 off 41 deliveries when the innings came to a close and may have been on strike for the final delivery had the no-ball been picked up. Judging by the form he was in, there's every chance de Villiers could have pumped the last ball over the fence and changed the result.

But he was never given that chance and RCB captain Kohli was fuming at the post-match presentation.

Lasith Malinga got away with one here.
Lasith Malinga got away with one here.

"We are playing at IPL level, not club cricket," Kohli said. "That's just a ridiculous call off the last ball.

"The umpires should have their eyes open, it was a no-ball by an inch. It's a completely different game altogether (if the no-ball was called).

"So if it's a game of margins, I don't know what's happening. They should have been more sharp and more careful out there."

Mumbai captain and Kohli's Indian teammate Rohit Sharma also had some grim words about the umpiring even though he was on the winning team.

"These kinds of mistakes are not good for the game of cricket. The over before that, (Jasprit) Bumrah bowled a ball which wasn't a wide ball (which was called a wide)," Sharma said.

"They have to watch what is happening. The players can't do much about it. Just walk off and shake hands. It is disappointing to see that, but I hope they can rectify their mistakes like we do."

Speaking to reporters at a press conference later, Sharma doubled down on his initial take.

"I say it because eventually it's not good for the game. Whatever is not good for the game, I'm not going to stand for it," Sharma said.

"It's pretty simple, those decisions can cost you games. We prepare too much to win this tournament, to win games, and those kind of mistakes are not acceptable."

Mumbai escaped in a thriller.
Mumbai escaped in a thriller.

Whereas the third umpire often checks to see if a delivery is legal when a batsman is dismissed, resulting in them being given a second life if the bowler is shown to have overstepped the mark, the same process doesn't apply in other situations. On balls where a batsman isn't given out, no official checks for a front foot no-ball.

It's that oversight that led to another headline-making match in the IPL.

Kohli and Sharma weren't the only ones upset. Former stars, including international captains, raged over cricket's refusal not to let technology intervene in cases where obvious blunders have been made.

Ex-England batsman Kevin Pietersen is on commentary duty in India and fumed over the decision.

"It should've been a no-ball and it should've been a free hit," he said. "We can fly drones. We have got Spidercams. We have all sorts of technology, cars that drive themselves.

"How can you not have technology in a cricketing arena where millions are in play in terms of fans and the entertainment that the package brings? How can you not have technology in place to call it?

"Maybe the umpire should have called it, but maybe you take it (the call) away from the umpire.

"You just think to yourself, well, the emotion, the human emotion involved in such a crucial play in the game can affect the human. We are all humans. Should there be a technology in place that just calls a no-ball?"

Sharma led from the front for Mumbai, belting eight fours and a six on his way to 48 from 33 balls as he top scored for his team, while first drop Suryakumar Yadav also chipped with 38 from 24 deliveries.

Hardik Pandya then unleashed with a whirlwind cameo at the death, clearing the ropes three times in just 14 balls as he finished on 32 not out to guide Mumbai to 8/187.

In reply, RCB's top order started solidly as Parthiv Patel (31 from 22) and Kohli (46 from 32) set a strong platform. De Villiers then came in and upped the ante, smacking four fours and six sixes but Bangalore couldn't keep up with the run rate and fell agonisingly short at the end of 20 overs.

Indian fast bowling revelation Jasprit Bumrah was sensational at the death for Mumbai, taking 3/20 from four overs as he proved the difference between the teams.

News Corp Australia


Belgian police to join search for Theo Hayez

Belgian police to join search for Theo Hayez

The Belgian backpacker has been missing since May 31

'Queen of Australia' caught stealing petrol in Lismore

premium_icon 'Queen of Australia' caught stealing petrol in Lismore

Police warn people stealing petrol will be caught

Council may introduce a parking pass for Lismore

premium_icon Council may introduce a parking pass for Lismore

Mayor said this will save people money