Let's be honest. Neither team really deserved to win this contest. But if anyone did before the Super Over, it probably was Punjab. Let me explain.
Punjab conceded 57 runs in the final three overs with 30 off the final over coming from Chris Jordan. They err with their death bowlers in selection and seemed out of place with their ideas many times. It allowed Delhi to escape to a daunting target on this surface.
In the run-chase, Punjab overcame most odds to stage a stunning fightback. With 13 needed in the final over, a well-set Mayank Agarwal slammed Marcus Stoinis for a six first ball. With 1 needed off 2 balls, the result seemed a given when the Punjab opener went for the glory stroke to be dismissed. The last ball saw Stoinis dismiss Chris Jordan and Delhi coming from behind to tie the game.
However, let's roll back the clock a bit.
Over 18.3: Mayank Agarwal taps and runs for two with Jordan coming back for a run too, but Punjab are rewarded just one run as the on-field umpire believed the first single taken was one run short.
Countless replays came up proving that there was indeed bat behind the line and that it wasn't one run short. The commentators are talking about it, the umpires, third umpire and match officials are seeing it. The world is watching it. Yet, nothing happens.
I don’t agree with the man of the match choice . The umpire who gave this short run should have been man of the match.— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) September 20, 2020
Short Run nahin tha. And that was the difference. #DCvKXIP pic.twitter.com/7u7KKJXCLb
Yes, cricket is a bizarre game. Until recently, we would accept no-balls as legitimate deliveries if the on-field umpire says so despite video evidence countering the same.
But, here's the difference. Technology is being used to identify no-balls this Indian T20 League. The same technology can also spot one-run short. Yet, we don't use it. With the umpire calling one-run short, Punjab were denied an extra run they actually took.
In the penultimate over of the game, every extra run counts. Punjab lose one and they end up needing 13 off the final over instead of 12. It probably wouldn't have mattered or made headlines if the game wasn't ending in a tie.
Unfortunately for Punjab, it did and up against one of the best fearsome pacers in world cricket, their strategies - if sending Rahul and Pooran in the Super Over indeed had some logic behind it - came apart as they were bowled out for two runs.
As Delhi walk away with smiles and honours, one can't help but wonder how Punjab would have won inside 20 overs if not for the poor use of technology by cricket.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / Indian T20 League