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November 21, 2005
Inzamam-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, expressed surprise at being given run out in controversial circumstances today. After playing a delivery from Steve Harmison firmly back to the bowler, Inzamam's momentum carried him out of his crease. Harmison, in his follow-through, fielded the ball and threw down Inzamam's stumps. Upon England's appeal, the decision was referred to the third umpire, Nadeem Ghauri, by Darrell Hair.
After much deliberation, Inzamam was adjudged run-out. Television replays proved inconclusive to many, showing Inzamam's back foot to be in the air at the moment the ball hit the stumps. But, as Inzamam appeared to be avoiding the throw and injury to himself, the decision was in apparent transgression of the laws of the game. Law 38 (2) states clearly that the batsman shall not be adjudged run out if "(a) he has been within his ground and has subsequently left it to avoid injury, when the wicket is put down."
Inzamam confirmed that he was indeed not intending to run and was seeking to avoid being hit by the throw back. "Definitely I was in the crease when Harmison threw the ball and I was just trying to get out of the way of the throw. I wasn't trying to run or anything else, just to get out of the way."
Although clearly upset by the decision at the time, Inzamam refused to be drawn into further comments saying simply: "I was definately surprised because I wasn't attempting a run, I was trying to avoid the ball. "You (reporters) can say it's controversial but it is the umpire's decision for me. I never challenged it."
To an extent, the decision soured Inzamam drawing level with Javed Miandad as his country's highest century scorer. Both men have 23 hundreds now, although Miandad made his in 124 Tests, 20 more than Inzamam.
Inzamam's controversial dismissal was one of a few already in this match, including Ian Bell's catch to dismiss Mohammad Yousuf off his own bowling yesterday and Marcus Trescothick's to dismiss Shahid Afridi earlier today. Inzamam revealed that Pakistan had approached the match referee although no official complaint had been lodged.
"We have spoken to the match referee unofficially but nothing has been official. Bob Woolmer spoke to him but as I said nothing official has been recorded."
As well as the decisions and the blast that briefly disrupted play on an incident-filled day, umpires also spoke to Inzamam about some players running onto the pitch during the disruption in an effort, allegedly, to scuff up the pitch. From television replays, Shahid Afridi appeared to have been the culprit but Inzamam refused to elaborate. "The umpires told me about it but I didn't see who had done it. I don't know much about it so I can't comment on that further."
The identity was seemingly confirmed at the end of the day when it was announced that Afridi is to appear at a hearing with the match referee this evening.