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Pak prayers don’t work for India; the 59m boundary question 

Birmingham, July 1

From Bradford to Birmingham, Leicester to Larkana and Lahore to Luton, Pakistanis were hoping and praying for India’s win yesterday. Men in green shirts of Pakistan replicated the Indian chant of ‘Jeetega Bhai Jeetega, India Jeetaga’. They were happy to do it on camera, too!

England were too strong for India, though.

At the end of the day, MS Dhoni was accused of betraying India. Pakistani fans accused the Indian team of betraying the Pakistan team. The Indian fans were accused of betraying cricket. Virat Kohli accused the short 59-metre boundary of bizarreness and craziness; he came close to accusing someone of “coincidentally” keeping the boundary down to 59 metres. That much happened in a day of cricket yesterday here, lit up by 16 hours and 46 minutes of summer sunlight, 138 minutes of which Jonny Bairstow utilised to further light up the Edgbaston ground. 

59m boundary

Kohli spoke about the “bizarre” short boundary at Edgbaston — the pitch used was well away from the central pitch of the ground. This shortened the boundary to one side to 59 metres, while another boundary was 82 metres away, Kohli noted. England managed to score heavily on the shorter boundary; Jonny Bairstow struck five of his six sixers over the shorter boundary. Ben Stokes knew where the short boundary was, too: He hit an amazing reverse-sweep off Yuzvendra Chahal for a six over the 59m boundary.

Kohli remembered and mentioned the dimensions of the boundaries, 59m and 82m, because clearly, he and the team had discussed them before the game. ICC’s rules state that no boundary can be shorter than “65 yards (59.43 metres) from the centre of the pitch used”.

The short boundary, thus, didn’t contravene ICC’s rules; however, Kohli did say that it worked against India, who had two spinners in the team.

“If batsmen are able to reverse-sweep you for a six on a 59-metre boundary, then there is not much you can do as a spinner,” Kohli said “There is no sort of room to think whether you are going to get out or not and one side was about 82 (metres) or something like that. Yeah, look, they (India’s spinners) had to be smart with the lines they bowled, but with one short boundary it was very difficult to contain runs.”

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