Ashley Giles dismissed claims England benefited from an ‘extra run’ during their unbelievable World Cup triumph over New Zealand.
England’s director of cricket laughed off the suggestion from former international umpire Simon Taufel that the world champions should only have been awarded five runs, not six, after the ball ricocheted off Stokes’ bat and crossed the boundary as he dived to make his ground during a dramatic final over.
Giles told Sky Sports: “Well, you can look at so many moments during the day. If that had been the case, Stokesy got a full toss last ball, he’d probably have smashed it out of the park rather than try to nurdle two.
“If you look over there, we’ve got the trophy and I think you’ll find it very difficult to get it out of their hands.”
The hosts triumphed in the competition for the first time after beating New Zealand following a super over at Lord’s.
England matched the Kiwis’ score of 241 from the final delivery, but earlier in the concluding over they were awarded six runs in bizarre circumstances.
With nine needed from three deliveries, Stokes and Adil Rashid pushed for a second run when a throw from the boundary hit the Durham all-rounder’s outstretched bat and went over the rope for four byes and six in total.
But Taufel, who was named ICC’s Umpire of the Year on five occasions, told foxsports.com.au: “They should have been awarded five runs, not six. It’s a clear mistake. It’s an error of judgement.
“In the heat of what was going on, [the umpires] thought there was a good chance the batsmen had crossed at the instant of the throw. Obviously TV replays showed otherwise.”
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Law 19.8 of the MCC rulebook states: “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.”
Replays showed Stokes and Rashid had not crossed when the throw came in from Martin Guptill.
The International Cricket Council has not commented on the matter.