Daft end to a gripping drama
India and Pakistan played out perhaps their most thrilling contest in a world competition. One of the most absorbing situations in cricket is a batsman staving off a rampant bowling attack. First Robin Uthappa and then Misbah-ul-Haq demonstrated cool nerve and steady technique to salvage their colleagues from a batting disaster. Uthappa has been a revelation in England this summer which made Misbah's innings the bigger surprise.
But on a day that proved that Twenty20 cricket can share the thrill factor, a tie was a result both teams had earned. By sharing the points, both India and Pakistan would have qualified for the next round and the pre-tournament seeding ensured that results and standing had no influence over where the two teams would be heading next.
Pakistan, incidentally, will be pleased to be avoiding Durban in the next stage, almost as pleased as they must be with the wrong-footed emergence of Sohail Tanvir.
Yet the ICC has created a rule that sullied the climax of this match. In their rush to ape soccer's big tournaments, cricket's administrators have missed one point: there are no penalty shoot-outs in group stages, and they only take place in knock-out matches to ensure a winner and avoid a replay. India deserved to win the bowl-out because its players were relaxed and nerveless. But the bowl-out was meaningless, a daft end to a gripping drama.
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here