Babar's unexpected but classy remark ends big DRS controversy despite Pak's loss | Crickit
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Babar Azam's unexpected but classy response ends DRS controversy despite Pakistan's narrow loss to South Africa

Oct 28, 2023 02:29 PM IST

The easiest thing for Babar Azam to do would have been to put the blame on the umpires, the DRS rule and everything else. But he didn't do that.

Amid a massive debate over the 'umpire's call' rule in the controversial LBW outcomes of Rassie van der Dussen and Tabraiz Shamsi, Pakistan captain Babar Azam's comments on the entire turn of events came as a breath of fresh air. It was not easy for Babar. He had just suffered a heart-breaking loss which put them on the verge of being knocked out of World Cup 2023. The easiest thing for him to do would have been to put the blame on the umpires, the DRS rule and everything else. But he didn't do that. He accepted both the decisions.

The Tabraiz Shamsi LBW DRS in Pakistan vs South Africa World Cup match
The Tabraiz Shamsi LBW DRS in Pakistan vs South Africa World Cup match

"It's part of the game. This is umpire's call so I think it's just part of the game. Had he given it out, it would have favoured us," Babar said during the post-match presentation when asked about the DRS call on Shamsi.

Also Read | ‘Whole country will attack Nawaz but it was Babar Azam…’: Wasim Akram on Pakistan captain's ‘massive error’ vs SA

It was not as simple as Babar made it sound. If Shamsi was given out on the field then it would have stayed that way and Pakistan would have won the match in the 46th over itself. That's how significant that decision by Alex Wharf was.

The 'umpire's call' rule that saved Shamsi but couldn't save van der Dussen

So what exactly happened? South Africa needed 8 runs with one wicket in hand. In the last ball of the 46th over, Rauf got one to jag back from a good length and trap Shamsi in front of the stumps. There was a big appeal but the umpire ruled it in favour of the batter. Babar immediately sent it upstairs.

The replays showed that the ball would have been gone on top clip the stumps - umpire's call, which was not out. Shamsi survived and so did South Africa. In the end, they won the match in the 48th over as Keshav Maharaj hit a boundary off Mohammad Nawaz.

Babar knew Pakistan can't count themselves unlucky as the same umpire's call rule had given them an important wicket earlier in the match. Van der Dussen was given out by on-field umpire Paul Reiffel. The South African batter opted for DRS. There were two 'umpire's calls' on pitching and hitting. And because the umpire's call was out, Dussen was given the marching orders by the third umpire.

With Pakistan almost out of the tournament, Babar seemed drained with the opportunity lost.

"I think it's disappointing everyone, we had the opportunity to win this match and stay in the tournament but we missed it. We will try our best in our next three matches and put our effort so let's see where we stand after the three matches." Babar blamed his batters for falling 20 runs short what could have been a winning score on the Chepauk track.

"Very disappointing, we fought back well but we were 10-15 runs short. I think the way fast bowlers bowled, they did well but unfortunately, the result was not in our side."

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