web

HAMILTON: There was a brief moment of panic for New Zealand batsman Tom Latham, as the third umpire’s decision on his run-out was given OUT instead of NOT OUT on the big screen, when in fact the umpire had decided to give him the benefit of doubt.

Decisions can hardly go wrong when the third umpire is involved, who has the benefit of watching replays from various angles, as opposed to the on-field umpires. When New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson drove the ball at cover point in the 19th over from Wahab Riaz, substitute fielder Yasir Shah was quick to hit the stumps as it looked like Tom Latham barely made it to the crease at the striker’s end.

The on-field umpire referred the decision to the third umpire, who took his time making the decision by viewing the action from various angles. In one video frame, Latham was out of the crease but the bails were not off. In the other frame, he had barely made it and the bails were lodged off by the ball. Commentators were expecting the third umpire to give the benefit of the doubt to the batsman, as is the tradition of the game.

And that is exactly what the third umpire did. Instead, for a very brief moment, the word OUT flashed on the big screen which was replaced quickly by NOT OUT. The blunder might have sent jitters down Tom Latham’s spine, since a close call can go either way.

After 80 overs, New Zealand had a lead of 345 runs over Pakistan in the second Test match.