Belfast Telegraph

Cricket World Cup: Controversial ‘television decision’ was big turning point, says Porterfield

By Ian Callender

Ireland captain William Porterfield does not believe the controversial leg before decision against Gary Wilson in their World Cup defeat to the West Indies yesterday cost them the match but he described it as a “pivotal moment”.

The Decision Review System (DRS) is being used for the first time in a major one-day tournament but rather than coming up with the right verdict it appears as if the television umpire is going out of his way to back up the on-field official. “The third umpire has all the technology in front of him and when you ask for a review it is supposed to eradicate the mistakes. And for me that didn’t happen,” said Porterfield.

“I would like to say the DRS is working but when you get a decision like that you can see clearly from the replay that he (Wilson) was playing a shot, the ball hit the back of his pad as well. Surely common sense should prevail.

“The on-field umpire’s first question (to the third umpire) was whether the ball hit bat or pad so surely that means he was playing a stroke. In my opinion he got it wrong.

“But I don’t think it cost us the game. It was obviously a crucial decision and if we had taken the power play at that stage who knows what would have happened.

“We still had Cusi (Alex Cusack) and John (Mooney) to come. It was a pivotal moment in the game.

Opposite number Darren Sammy was asked at the after-match press conference what went on in the middle after Wilson had asked for the review to be reviewed and he admitted he told the player to go back to the pavilion after the television umpire had upheld the original decision.

“I personally tried to tell him that the third umpire said he was out so don’t hang around and risk a fine,” said Sammy.

“I personally would not have questioned the umpire’s decision. When the umpire says you are out, you walk and at the end of the match you make your comments in a captain’s report. That’s the way we go about it.”

The loss of crucial wickets — Ed Joyce 16 short of a century and Kevin O’Brien for five — were just as vital in the 44 runs defeat, according to the Ireland captain, but he had praise for all his bowlers who had to cover for Trent Johnston who, as feared, failed a fitness test and he reserved a special mention for man of the match Kieron Pollard, who hit 94 from just 55 balls.

“Alex Cusack was given the new ball and to keep them to three an over for the first 15 overs was a great effort,” said Porterfield.

“Pollard came in and played a great knock. He can clear the boundary on any ground in the world against any attack but at half time I thought 275 was very chaseable.”

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