England beat New Zealand in a scintillating contest to win their maiden World Cup at the 'Mecca of Cricket' in Lord's on Sunday. The hosts won in the Super Over after an exciting 100 over match where a result could not be determined as both teams finished on the same score of 241. Coincidentally, even the Super Over was tied after Kiwi opener Martin Guptill was run out on the final ball by Jos Buttler off Jason Roy. Nonetheless, the Eoin Morgan-led side emerged as the winners of the match owing to the boundary count, with England having scored 24 boundaries in their innings against New Zealand's 17.
While the hosts could not control their jubilations the Black Caps were shell-shocked and there was pin-drop silence in their camp. However, if not for an umpiring blunder, it could have been Kane Williamson & Co. posing with the coveted trophy on the podium. Confused? It might sound strange but here's what you need to know.
Now the question is how could New Zealand have won this game and what was the umpiring error? Well, it happened in the final over of the second innings which was bowled by Trent Boult and a well-set Ben Stokes was on strike. The all-rounder had mistimed a full toss from Boult towards mid-wicket and ran for two. Martin Guptill covered the ground and threw it towards the wicket-keeper as Stokes put in a dive. However, as he put in a dive to save his wicket, the ball deflected from his bat and went towards the third man fence for four. Hence, England got six runs in one ball as their equation which had read 9 runs from 3 balls came down to 3 runs in 2 balls.
Wondering what this has got to do with umpiring error and in deciding the eventual outcome of the match? This is what the rulebook says.
As per the relevant clause from the MCC rulebook:
Rule 19.8: Overthrow or willful act of a fielder
If the boundary results from an overthrow or from the willful act of a fielder, the runs scored shall be
— any runs for penalties awarded to either side
— and the allowance for the boundary
— and the runs completed by the batsmen, together with the run in progress if they had already crossed at the instant of the throw or act.