London, July 15 : Former international umpire Simon Taufel feels that the umpires made a grave mistake while awarding six runs to England -- instead of five --when a throw struck Ben Stokes' bat during the summit clash of the 2019 World Cup at Lord's.
In the fourth ball of the final over during England's chase of 241, Stokes accidentally knocked the ball coming in from deep midwicket fielder Martin Guptill and deflected it off to the third man boundary, while attempting to dive for his crease with an outstretched bat in a bid to complete his second run.
After consultation with Marais Erasmus and the rest of his umpiring colleagues, Kumar Dharmasena signalled six runs for the incident, meaning that England -- who by then seemed to be drifting out of contention needing nine runs from three balls -- were suddenly right back in the hunt towards their World Cup glory needing three more from two.
"They (England) should have been awarded five runs, not six," Taufel told foxsports.com.au.
"It's a clear mistake ... it's an error of judgment," he added.
According to MCC law 19.8 pertaining to 'overthrow or wilful act of fielder': "If the boundary results from an overthrow or from the wilful act of a fielder, the runs scored shall be any runs for penalties awarded to either side, and the allowance for the boundary, and the runs completed by the batsmen, together with the run in progress if they had already crossed at the instant of the throw or act." Taufel, however, defended the officials, saying it was unfair to say this was the moment that decided the match.
"In the heat of what was going on, they thought there was a good chance the batsmen had crossed at the instant of the throw.
"Obviously TV replays showed otherwise." The 48-year-old praised acknowledged that the call "influenced the game", but said it should not be viewed as costing New Zealand the World Cup.
"It's unfair on England, New Zealand and the umpires involved to say it decided the outcome," Taufel said.