Umpire Richard Kettleborough intensified the excitement by refraining from signaling a definite wide delivery when Virat Kohli was at the crease with a score of 97, and India required just two runs for victory. Virat Kohli‘s relentless pursuit of reaching his century injected a thrilling element into what had otherwise been a one-sided contest between India and Bangladesh during the 2023 World Cup at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.
Kohli deliberately declined opportunities for easy singles, opting for just one run off the last ball for three consecutive overs, all in the name of retaining strike, and resorted to powerful strokes in order to secure his 48th ODI century. During these intense moments of India’s chase, everything else took a backseat. To further intensify the excitement, umpire Richard Kettleborough added an extra layer of drama by not signaling a clear wide when Kohli was on the cusp of reaching 100, with India requiring just two runs to secure victory.
— Saurabh Raj (@sraj57454) October 19, 2023
The commencement of the 42nd over introduced a fresh twist to the already peculiar situation. At that moment, Kohli was standing at 97 runs, and India required merely two runs to secure victory. Bangladesh’s left-arm spinner, Nasum Ahmed, delivered a ball down the leg side, which led to Kohli casting an irate and intense gaze at the bowler.
It remains uncertain whether this display of emotion had any effect on the bowler, but it undeniably made an impression on umpire Richard Kettleborough. He opted not to signal it as a wide delivery. Subsequent replays unequivocally confirmed that this decision was erroneous, one that Kettleborough would undoubtedly regret. He even expressed his disapproval by shaking his head upon reviewing the incident on the large screen.
The Pune audience showed no objections, and Kohli shared their sentiment. It was a highly unusual situation, where the batting team, surprisingly, welcomed the umpire’s decision not to call a wide delivery. They were well aware that this decision kept the possibility of Kohli achieving a century alive. Consequently, Kohli seized the opportunity by dispatching the low full toss for another six.