The scorecard of the 1992 World Cup semi-final between New Zealand and Pakistan would suggest Chris Harris had an ordinary match: 13 runs at No. 6, and figures of 1 for 72 in ten overs. He took the bulk of the punishment - 25 off 13 balls - from the eventual Player of the Match, Inzamam-ul-Haq, and was at the receiving end of the six and the four that Moin Khan hit, off successive balls, to seal victory for Pakistan.

Don't be fooled, though. Harris was a central figure for New Zealand, a man whose performance could - and perhaps should - have hauled them into their first World Cup final.

In an alternate universe, Harris would be remembered for playing a similar role to Viv Richards in the 1975 final, effecting the run-outs that turned the match.

In an alternate universe, Steve Bucknor, the square-leg umpire, would have raised his finger when Harris swooped from cover point like a bird of prey, picked up the ball, and flicked it underarm, all in the same motion, to hit the stumps direct at the striker's end with Javed Miandad stretching to make his ground. Replays showed Miandad clearly short of his crease, even if there was only an inch in it. He had faced five balls at that stage, and scored one run. If he'd been given out, Pakistan would have been 86 for 3, needing a further 177 to win off 161 balls.

As it happened, there was no way for Bucknor to give Miandad out based on what he saw from square leg in the hurly-burly of live action, with no recourse to slow-motion replays. Batsmen inevitably - and rightly - get the benefit of doubt in those situations.

Miandad would go on to steer Pakistan to victory with a typically crafty 57 not out from 69 balls, shepherding the youthful Inzamam and Moin, constantly offering them advice from his end.

Harris could have run Miandad out for 1. Harris did run Inzamam out for 67, when Miandad tapped the ball towards him at extra-cover and called for an unwise single. And Harris could have run Moin out too, in the closing stages, when the match was still alive.

Harris had just kept Miandad to a single by quickly closing down a square drive at deep point. With Moin now on strike, John Wright, New Zealand's stand-in captain, moved him to midwicket. With Pakistan needing 16 off 16 balls, New Zealand pushed their inner-ring fielders close to the bat, to crowd the new man and try to keep him on strike. There were three fielders in a tight ring saving one on the off side, but only one on the leg side. New Zealand put their best fielder there.

When Moin flicked Danny Morrison's next ball out of the blockhole, it was almost inevitable that Harris would appear in its path, springing diagonally to his right to effect a one-handed, single-denying pick-up, which segued into a flick-throw that hit the stumps direct. Once again, replays showed that the hurriedly backtracking Moin was narrowly but perceptibly short of his crease when the bails came off.

As with the previous incident, it was impossible for the square-leg umpire to give the batsman out. The evidence of the replays was clear enough, though, and it feels unfair that the multitude of camera angles that now bring a nearly 360-degree view of the field to millions of viewers, and the slow-motion replays that allow them to dissect the action with unprecedented precision, aren't available to the match officials.

Run-outs and stumpings are, by definition, binary: a line divides out from not out. Unlike lbw, there is no subjectivity involved with line calls, and there should be no reason why cricket, at the top level at least, should not employ video umpires to judge them.

These decisions can change matches and tournaments, and change the way we remember them. In years to come, you'll associate this World Cup with the image of a flying Jonty Rhodes running Inzamam out at the Gabba. Just make sure you don't forget Chris Harris at Eden Park.

Postscript: Video umpires came into effect by the end of the year, and the first Test of India's 1992-93 tour of South Africa, in Durban, was the first international match to feature the third umpire. Cyril Mitchley was the first on-field umpire to send a run-out appeal "upstairs", where Karl Liebenburg made the historic decision to give Sachin Tendulkar out.

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