Umpire almost cut Cheteshwar Pujara’s marathon innings short

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In the just concluded Ranchi test match, the third of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy, it was Cheteshwar Pujara’s marathon innings of 202 in 525 deliveries that ensured that India ended the match searching for a win and the Aussies ended it playing for the draw. 

Pujara’s innings, the longest by an Indian batsman, was a masterclass in batting on a slow pitch against a team that had restricted India to a total of 674 runs over four innings in the previous two test matches.

But there was a possibility that Pujara’s masterclass would have been cut short during the fourth day’s play and his second double-century against Aussies would not have been completed.

Early in the first session of the day, in the 140th over of the Indian innings, Josh Hazlewood beat Pujara with a bouncer that the batsman clumsily tried to hook.

The Aussies were not even appealing for a caught behind but umpire Chris Gaffaney from New Zealand started raising his finger up.

But to Pujara’s relief, Gaffaney changed his mind mid-way and completed the motion of his finger by adjusting his hat. The on-screen commentators did not delve too much on this occurrence but on social media this gaffe by Gaffaney was scrutinized and ridiculed endlessly.

Chopra and Martyn bantered on Twitter

Ex-cricketers Aakash Chopra and Damien Martyn struck up a conversation over the video of this incidence, with Damien Martyn asking the Indian: “@cricketaakash What's our verdict on this mate? Very funny and not sure I have seen this before..”

The Indian cricketer-turned-commentator replied: “@damienmartyn umpiring is like Twitter....not for impulsive people.”

Not the only funny umpiring incident

It was also not the only incidence of this kind on this weekend.

In the test match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, being played in Sri Lanka, Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar also indicated that he agreed with Mosaddek Hossain’s appeal for the dismissal of Sri Lanka’s Suranga Lakmal.But after nodding his head initially, he changed his mind and indicated not out.

Dar’s change of mind did not help Sri Lanka a lot, as they ended up losing the test match to Bangladesh. But, in

But, in case of Gaffaney, his change of mind indeed helped India take charge of the test match as Pujara was batting on 142 when the incident happened. He added a further 60 runs to his tally and many more through his partnership with the keeper Saha.

Indians should be thankful for the Kiwi’s ability to rein in his instincts.

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