WAPDA needed four runs to win, with more than 78 overs left in the day. Peshawar needed one wicket. Three days of cricket and here we were, the game delicately poised. And then Peshawar fast bowler Taj Wali decided to mankad the non-striker Mohammad Irfan - who had casually taken a step out from the popping crease while the bowler was about to deliver. Following the law, the umpire had no option but to give Irfan out once the bowler appealed - a close finish in this season's Quaid-e-Azam Trophy made controversial.
Ahmed Shahab and Faisal Afridi, the on-field umpires, consulted after the incident, and asked the fielding side if they wanted to rethink their appeal. They didn't, and Peshawar won by three runs - a rare win for a regional side over a department one, and, in this case, no less than the tournament's defending champions.
WAPDA's captain Salman Butt questioned the spirit of the act.
"What's the point of this law when the winning team isn't proud and ashamed instead?" Butt told ESPNcricinfo. "We had a great game, fully competitive throughout four days, which saw both teams' fortunes fluctuate. And suddenly this mankading spoiled it. Sportsman spirit should have been the top priority but the game didn't end in a proper way. What's the point of this law when the opponent team despite winning apologises to us?"
Peshawar coach Abdul Rehman said his team did nothing wrong since it was within the laws of the game. "We haven't done anything illegal. If there is something that is allowed by the law then it is legal. If a team or player does something that is within the laws then you shouldn't say it is against the spirit of cricket."
According to the ICC playing regulations, mirrored in Pakistan domestic cricket, the dismissal was clearly fair. "The bowler is permitted, before releasing the ball and provided he has not completed his usual delivery swing, to attempt to run out the non-striker. Whether the attempt is successful or not, the ball shall not count as one of the over. If the bowler fails in an attempt to run out the non-striker, the umpire shall call and signal dead ball as soon as possible."