A staggering umpiring blunder has left Australian skipper Aaron Finch livid as Pakistan claimed the T20 series with a controversial 11-run victory in the second game in Dubai.
- D’Arcy Short deemed run out at non-striker’s end by third umpire after bowler got a finger to return shot before hitting stumps
- Australia unable to chase Pakistan’s 148, falling 12 runs short to lose Twenty20 series with a game to play
- Review the second Twenty20’s scoreboard
Set 148 to win, Australia posted 8-136 from 20 overs to hand Pakistan an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Glenn Maxwell (52) and Nathan Coulter-Nile (27) gave Australia hope of pulling off victory but both fell in the final over.
Finch was left fuming by a bizarre run out decision that resulted in opening partner D’Arcy Short’s dismissal in the third over.
Short was at the non-striker’s end when spinner Imad Wasim got a finger to a return shot from Finch that ricocheted into the stumps.
Replays appeared to confirm that Short’s bat was grounded when the bails were dislodged but third umpire Shozab Raza gave the left-hander out.
“We certainly had a view as a team that we thought his bat was clearly grounded behind the line,” Maxwell said.
“Maybe the third umpire pressed the wrong button. We’ve all made mistakes.
“As we probably saw it in the change rooms, there wasn’t really any doubt.
“I think if you even look at the way he’s holding his bat, it’s very hard to hold it above the line with the bat sitting out of his gloves.”
A furious Finch could scarcely believe the decision and remonstrated with on-field umpire Ahsan Raza as Short trudged from the ground.
Finch, who could be fined for showing dissent, fell for 3 when he was beaten for spin by Shadab Khan and sliced to Fakhar Zaman at long on.
Pakistan counterpart Sarfraz Ahmed was bemused after the game when asked about Finch’s emotional response.
“I don’t know why [there was] so much reaction because clearly it is out,” he said.
“The bat is not on the ground.”
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Shadab’s brilliant one-handed diving catch at cover accounted for Chris Lynn (7), while the legspinner also had the returning Mitch Marsh (21) caught behind.
Australia’s hopes faded even further when rookie Ben McDermott (3) was run out for the second time in as many games, courtesy of an unbelievable no-look flick from Fakhar at mid-on.
Maxwell had been dropped twice when he holed out to Shoaib Malik at mid off with Australia needing 16 to win from four balls.
Babar Azam (45) and Mohammad Hafeez (40) did the damage with the bat for Pakistan, combining for a 70-run second-wicket stand as the hosts posted 6-147.
Coulter-Nile (3-18) and Billy Stanlake (2-36) were the pick of the bowlers for Australia.
Ranked number one in the world, Pakistan has now remarkably won 10 straight T20 series, with Sarfraz enjoying a perfect run since replacing Shahid Afridi as skipper in 2016.
The series concludes in Dubai on Sunday night.