The exciting win by New Zealand over England, on the final ball, is set to be overshadowed by uproar. Grant Elliott was run out, after colliding with England quick bowler Ryan Sidebottom, and being knocked down.
Ian Bell then threw the ball to Kevin Pietersen at the bowler’s end, and Elliott was dismissed.
Although England captain Paul Collingwood could have withdrawn the appeal and there is also provision within the laws for the umpires to call dead ball in the event of a serious injury, Elliott was ruled run out.
Despite this, New Zealand went on to win a dramatic last-ball victory over England by one wicket in the fourth one-day international at The Oval on Wednesday, to take an unbeatable 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
With two needed off the final ball, last man Mark Gillespie hit Luke Wright to extra-cover.
But Graeme Swann’s fierce throw to the bowler’s end wasn’t backed up by several England fielders – had he lobbed it in, Gillespie might have been run out by a distance – and this allowed New Zealand the winning second on the over-throw as they reached their target of 246.
Kyle Mills was 25 not out off just 27 balls.
Afterwards, Collingwood apologised for not withdrawing his appeal. “You have to make a split decision at the time and maybe it was not the correct one,” he told Sky Sports.
“The umpire asked me if I was upholding the decision and I said ‘yes’.
“Obviously the apologies go out to the New Zealand team over the decision – I made a split-second decision on the issue and that was the wrong one.”
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori, who shouted some angry words at the England dressing room when the appeal was upheld and again at the conclusion of the match, added: “I think we were a little bit contrite ourselves with the raw emotion so I apologise to Paul and his team.
“We hope we can move on – we can appreciate Paul’s words and we want to move on,” said Vettori ahead of Saturday’s finale at Lord’s.
Cricket … gentlemen sport – don’t understand much – but they never seams to beat each other up.