T20 World Cup rewind: India beat Pakistan in cricket's first and only bowl-out | Crickit
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T20 World Cup rewind: India beat Pakistan in cricket's first and only bowl-out

May 20, 2024 04:48 PM IST

The first of two matches between India and Pakistan in the 2007 T20 World Cup featured a unique match-decider that hasn't been used since.

Innovation was the name of the game in the 2007 T20 World Cup. Most players were experiencing the format for the first time and the fact that South Africa chased down a target of over 200 runs in the tournament opener against the West Indies showed that the sky is the limit for batters if they take their chances. The T20 format is where the Super Over was first tried and it is now an accepted way of concluding a tied match in limited-overs cricket. However, the Super Over was far from becoming a thing in 2007 and instead, what existed was the concept of a bowl-out.

MS Dhoni admitted that he didn't like the idea of bowl-outs deciding tied matches despite being the winning captain. (AFP)
MS Dhoni admitted that he didn't like the idea of bowl-outs deciding tied matches despite being the winning captain. (AFP)

It wasn't a phenomenon that received too much attention until it actually happened. So obscure was it that Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik admitted after their memorable Group D match against India that they didn't even know about the rule's existence.

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Malik had won the toss and put MS Dhoni's India to bat first. Mohammad Asif returned extraordinary figures of 4/18 and a half-century from Robin Uthappa took India to a score of 141/9. Pakistan ended up being restricted to a total of 141/7, with Misbah-ul-Haq being run out off the last ball of the match. The game seemingly ended in a tie and both India and Pakistan had qualified for the Super 8s, regardless of who was declared winner via the bowl-out.

This ended up giving the whole excercise a rather light-hearted mood with the players joking and laughing around despite the exercise being similar to a penalty shootout in football. Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Robin Uthappa bowled for India while Yasir Arafat, Umar Gul and Shahid Afridi walked up for Pakistan. The Indians all hit the stumps while the Pakistanis missed and the former won 3-0.

The bowl-out wasn't received too well and sure enough, that was the only instance of the rule being applied to decide a tied match. Even winning captain Dhoni admitted that he wouldn't like to see matches being decided in this manner. "I won't want to see a cricket match decided on a bowl out," Dhoni told reporters after the match. "The team plays so hard to get a result and it should always be decided on the field."

He said that it felt strange to have won a cricket match 3-0. "It really amuses you. Winning a cricket match 3-0, it doesn't happen every time. But it is in the record books now. I can tell my friends, when I was captain my team won 3-0," said Dhoni.

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