There are certain times when as a batsman, you can feel as though the world is against you and nothing is going your way. But there are also other days when you feel so lucky, you might be tempted to get a lottery ticket. Kolkata Knight Riders keeper Robin Uthappa had one of those lucky days before he was dismissed in the game against Sunrisers Hyderabad at Eden Gardens.
Not once but twice, the Indian international was lucky to remain on the pitch as he crafted a brilliant 39-ball 68 to steer his side towards a solid total.
When he edged and was given not out
And it all began early, off the first ball that he faced as he edged behind to Naman Ojha off the bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and should have gone for a golden duck and given Bhuvi the opportunity of becoming the third bowler in as many matches to pick a hat-trick but the umpire remained unmoved.
Uthappa couldn't have believed his luck as a clear edge to the keeper was missed the umpire, Anil Dandekar who committed a huge blunder by giving him Not Out when he was clearly out. The second stroke of luck came when he was batting on 52 off 29 balls.
When the right call was made eventually
This time the bowler was Ashish Nehra and the batsman seemed to have mistimed his pull shot as the ball ballooned up and Naman Ojha came running forward and took an excellent diving catch. The visitors were convinced but the umpires wanted to go upstairs to check if the ball was caught cleanly and even gave the soft signal as “OUT”.
But although the catch was taken cleanly by the keeper, replays suggested that the batsman got no bat on it and thus, although the soft signal was out, Uthappa was given not out and he survived for the second time.
Why the third umpire was right to give Uthappa NOT OUT
Although the original decision from the on-field umpires was that he had hit the ball and they only went upstairs to check if the catch was clean, common sense and logic prevailed as the right decision was made unlike earlier in the match.
The law regarding third umpire’s decision to overrule the on-field call, states: "The third umpire shall first check the fairness of the delivery and whether the batsman has hit the ball. If the delivery was not a fair delivery or if it is clear to the third umpire that the batsman did not hit the ball he shall indicate that the batsman is not out”
In this scenario, Uthappa didn't hit the ball and thus was correctly given not out by the third umpire.
Here is exactly what happened in pictures:
His luck though eventually ran out as he was dismissed for 68 by Ben Cutting after the wicketkeeper went for another pull shot but ended up getting a top edge and providing a simple catch to Rashid Khan.
Speaking about the initial decision that didn’t go their way and their bowling in general to the host broadcaster, VVS Laxman said: “The bowlers have done a fantastic job. They bowled to their plans. Umpiring decision can go your way, not your way, but having said that, the bowlers have executed their plans so far.”
Uthappa himself said he was happy to take the luck that he got with both hands.