Batsmen benefit, even when doubt is minimal

Shakib Al Hasan appeals for a wicket AFP

The deer-in-headlights impression
Ambati Rayudu's form has been flighty. All the symptoms of it were evident in his six-ball stay, none more so than his dismissal. Rayudu prodded forward to a Taskin Ahmed delivery that was not in his half and that initial movement did him in. The ball jagged back off the seam, kissed his helplessly open face and lobbed into the keeper's gloves. Bangladesh celebrated with vigour and Rayudu watched them, flinging a look at the pitch as if he did not believe what had happened. It was Taskin's first ball of the match.

The three-way collision
An appeal for leg before was hurled at the umpire in the 11th over, but Suresh Raina who knew he had inside edged the ball was busy discerning if his partner Cheteshwar Pujara was interested a run. He was. The ball had not gone off the strip and Mahmudullah had to cover a bit of ground from the off-side ring. Both the fielder and Pujara reached the vicinity of the stumps at nearly the same time and Mahmudullah was the one who blinked first. He could not collect the ball cleanly, which ensured Pujara was safe, though his bat had scuttled out of his hands and was cartwheeling as he dived to make his ground.

The umpire's call
There were 18 overs of pace before Bangladesh opted for plan B, if Shakib Al Hasan can be called that. Under normal circumstances, he would have bowled a lot more than 8.3 overs in the previous two ODIs, but the pitch and weather in Mirpur encouraged bounce and movement for the quicks. Shakib may not have minded the lesser workload, but that didn't mean he appreciated being denied a wicket. One of his sliders zipped through to hit Cheteshwar Pujara adjacent with off stump but umpire Enamul Haque disagreed. Shakib's appeal went from buoyant to pleading to angry, but he managed to channel his aggression to become the top wicket-taker on a day the seamers called the shots.

The reprieves
On-field umpires are prone to judgment calls, but the third umpire has greater resources to reach a conclusive verdict. Anisur Rahman's first tough decision came when Nasir Hossain dived forward at slip to pluck a low catch off the outside edge of Stuart Binny. The fielder, however, displayed no excitement and rather belatedly signalled for the third umpire's intervention. Replays tempted one to think Nasir had his fingers under the ball, but the benefit of the doubt was handed to the batsman. The process was repeated when Umesh Yadav lunged at his first ball and his toe seemed to be on the line when the keeper stumped him. This time the umpire's decision to hit the green light was less defensible.