cricket:image:1437990 [900x506]
cricket:image:1437990 [900x506] (Credit: Getty Images)

Cricket is in the blood in Trinidad

Modern broadcasts are a great way to watch cricket. Especially T20 cricket because things happen extremely quickly in this format and there are too many distractions in the stands to follow them. Yet, despite all the technological advancements, TV cameras can sometimes miss things.

On TV, you saw Keshav Maharaj defend 10 runs in the last over of yet another thriller, between Bangladesh and South Africa, in the low-scoring Westbury, New York despite bowling three full tosses. On TV, Maharaj got away with it. He probably did, but we need to see more before we make that comment.

Let's give it a slight build-up, shall we? Bangladesh were 83 for 4 in 15 overs chasing 114. The moment Aiden Markram went to Anrich Nortje for the 16th over, Maharaj knew he would be bowling the 20th over. South Africa didn't want the game to be over even before it went to the last over. So they bowled their fast bowlers first in the hope that they give Maharaj as many runs to defend with as possible.

Maharaj, who had never bowled the 20th over of a T20 match where ball-by-ball record is available, watched on with some nerves. TV didn't show you that. He said he was more nervous during those overs than when he actually got the ball in his hand. He was going through his "processes and plans" especially as it became probable during the 19th over that he would have a good chance of winning it for South Africa in the last over.

Maharaj began the last over by bowling into the pitch and trying to cramp Mahmudullah up. He wanted to take the off side, the shorter boundary, away from Mahmudullah. He bowled a wide trying to do so but then managed to get Mahmudullah off the strike. Then came an ordinary throw from Markram at long-on to miss running out Mahmudullah.

Eight years on from being part of a final-over meltdown against India, Mahmudullah, a longer and greyer beard on him, risked running himself out for a second that would put Jaker Ali back on strike. Mahmudullah perhaps didn't take it all upon himself because he knew the pitch and the outfield couldn't be trusted to hit two boundaries in the final over.

The broadcast showed you the drama around the lbw appeal for Rishad Hossain the ball after Jaker fell. The DRS process showed clearly that Rishad was not out, which meant the leg-bye taken stood. TV asked the Bangladeshi commentator Athar Ali Khan if he was thinking of the four possible leg-byes on an earlier DRS call that Bangladesh got successfully reversed.

Enough time for drama, not enough for nuance. A tantalising thought, but one that somehow only becomes relevant in close finishes. One that also omits to mention that the "solution" being offered for what is not really established as a "problem" means either doing away with the appeal or the umpires altogether. To let the ball stay alive as if the batter is not out means the bowlers and the keeper and the fielders are expected to field the ball and not appeal.

At any rate, the drama we watch or imagine is immaterial to what is happening in the middle. Were Bangladesh thinking of those four leg-byes? Who knows? Their best batter on the day, Towhid Hridoy, said they felt some hurt with the call made, a natural reaction from a competitor, but acknowledged the umpires are human and they can make a mistake. He didn't say he had a problem with the rule as it stood. He also felt a couple of calls on wides could have gone their way.

In that moment, though, Mahmudullah was back on strike, and he had two balls to hit a six in. At least he could now do it in one boundary. He was going to now look to do it on his own. Which is what brings us to the second of the three full tosses. Maharaj was looking to bowl a yorker, but the wind behind him, which had just picked up, carried it a little further, turning into a low full toss, and the same wind held the Mahmudullah shot up after it had looked like a six when it left the bat.

It wasn't really gusty, but this breeze had just picked up. What made Maharaj miss his execution also helped him. It wasn't really apparent to the naked eye from inside a box until Maharaj mentioned it.

And finally, TV didn't show the great catch that Markram took at long-on. It showed you the completion of the catch, but the catch was made by the start of it. Guilty of the ordinary throw earlier in that over, Markram had four seconds from the moment the ball hit the bat to the completion of the catch. TV showed you only the last of those four.

It is funny how such short events can be etched in your mind and play in slow motion. Markram began his dash to his left in a rush, then looked up to see where the ball was, realised he was close to the line of it, slowed down, but felt it was clearing him. The long-off fielder, the tall Marco Jansen, had run towards him. The relay catch was an option in this moment, but in a split second Markram realised the ball had held up in the wind and went for a solo catch. The setup and the timing of the leap was perfect.

So Maharaj perhaps still did get away with it, but not in the way we originally thought he did. A little like how we thought Jasprit Bumrah got away with two full tosses in the 19th over against Pakistan but that's also partly because of the opposite of dip that he gets on his balls. They land fuller than batters first calculate them. In the last two years, he has gone at about a run a full toss, and we are talking full toss with respect to the stumps and not those taken on the full by an advancing batter. Perhaps Bumrah, too, should have been hit for at least one six, but his full tosses are tougher to hit than your average bowler.

And so Mahmudullah walked back in disbelief looking at that one metre between win and defeat, between being assured of a Super Eights place and another fight for qualification. In a brief moment, a lifetime's work of repetitions, be with the ball, with the bat or indeed with the catch. A messy little event that a broadcast can't always do justice with.