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'May not have done it if we were winning' - Afghan captain on run-out

Afghanistan captain says act wasn't in the spirit of the game, but they did it because they were looking to win

Noor Ahmad celebrates after the wicket of Mohammad Hurraira, Afghanistan U-19 v Pakistan U-19, Super League quarter-final, Under-19 World Cup, Benoni, January 31, 2020

Noor Ahmad celebrates after the wicket of Mohammad Hurraira  •  Getty Images

Afghanistan left-arm wristspinner Noor Ahmad ran out Pakistan opener Mohammad Huraira at the non-striker's end in the fourth Super League quarter-final at the Under-19 World Cup, whipping the bails off in his delivery stride with the opener having left his crease.
On-field umpire Sam Nogajski referred the matter to Roly Black, the third umpire, and replays confirmed Huraira was out of his crease when Ahmad broke the stumps. Huraira, who was making his Youth ODI debut, was run out for a 76-ball 64. His wicket left Pakistan 127 for 4, but they were still comfortably placed, needing a further 63 runs to win in 134 balls. Afghanistan had earlier been bowled out for 189. Pakistan eventually won by six wickets in 41.1 overs.
Afghanistan captain Farhan Zakhil, however, felt after the match that the act was not "in the spirit of the game".
"At that time, we realised let's do something different to build pressure on Pakistan," Zakhil told ESPNcricinfo. "To be honest, it was not in the spirit of the game.
"But we wanted to win. It was a very important game for us. The people of Afghanistan wanted us to beat Pakistan. But it's within the rules - and out is out. You have to stay within the crease. If you want to reduce the pitch length to 16 or 18 yards, then you're creating a problem for us.
"If you want to make runs and rotate the strike, you must respect the opposition, which is why we went ahead. If we were winning, we probably wouldn't have done it."
Huraira accepted that he shouldn't have left his crease, though he wasn't happy with the dismissal. "It was my first game in the World Cup, so a bit of a bitter experience," Huraira said. "But I should've been in the crease, and I'll learn from the mistake. I'll ensure it isn't repeated again."
This is not the first time such a dismissal has been effected in an Under-19 World Cup, with West Indies' Keemo Paul having run out Zimbabwe's Richard Ngarava in similar fashion in the 2016 edition in Bangladesh, giving West Indies a thrilling win by two runs.
According to the MCC's Law 41.16, which was revised in 2017, "if the non-striker is out of his/her ground at any time from the moment the ball comes into play until the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the non-striker is liable to be run out." The non-striker would be run out "whether or not the ball is subsequently delivered".
Opinion remains divided on whether this particular form of dismissal, colloquially called a "mankad" - after former India allrounder Vinoo Mankad, who effected the first recorded instance of it in 1947 in a Test against Australia - is in the spirit of the game or not. But is worth noting that the MCC has stated that the bowler is under no compulsion to warn the batsman, and that this form of dismissal is not against the spirit of cricket.
The most recent high-profile case of a batsman being run out at the non-striker's end took place in IPL 2019, when R Ashwin ran out Jos Buttler when Kings XI Punjab were taking on Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur. Royals, who were 108 for 1 and needed only 63 off 44 balls to win, collapsed after the Buttler run out to lose the match by 14 runs.

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo