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  Tuesday, 5 June, 2001, 04:30 GMT 05:30 UK
No-ball row mars Pakistan triumph
Pakistan players celebrate after their last-gasp win
Pakistan players celebrate a controversial victory
Pakistan's victory over England at Old Trafford on Monday has been tainted by an umpiring controversy surrounding the dismissal of four England batsmen.

Nick Knight, Ian Ward, Andrew Caddick and Dominic Cork were all dismissed by no-balls - crucial wickets that ultimately cost England the Test.

The tourists secured a 108-run victory with a remarkable late burst that brought eight wickets in the last session to level the two-match series.

  'No-ball' dismissals
Batsman: Nick Knight, Bowler: Wasim Akram, Umpire: Ed Nichols, SCORE: 230-6
Batsman: Ian Ward, Bowler: Saqlain Mushtaq, Umpire: David Shephard, SCORE: 230-7
Batsman: Andrew Caddick, Bowler: Saqlain Mushtaq, Umpire: David Shepherd, SCORE: 230-8
Dominic Cork, Bowler: Saqlain Mushtaq, Umpire: David Shepherd, SCORE: 261-9

Umpires David Shepherd and Ed Nichols failed to pick up on the deliveries that resulted in England slumping from 230 for six to 261 for nine.

Stand-in captain Alec Stewart refused to blame umpiring decisions for England's loss, however.

"I was sitting on the balcony and didn't see any no-balls," he said. "And I'm not going to start moaning.

"The umpires are there to do a job and they do it to the best of their ability. They're human beings and all human beings make errors."

The first, and worst, of the decisions came when Knight was given lbw first ball to Wasim Akram, who was making his final Test appearance in this country.

Immediate suspicions that the ball may have been too high to hit the stumps were forgotten when the TV replay showed that Wasim had no-balled by at least four inches.

Pakistan paceman Waqar Younis adopted a similar stance to Stewart: "I was in the middle so I could not see if they were no-balls or not.

"It is human error. The umpires are bound to make mistakes from time to time."

Ball-tampering

Later on Monday, Pakistan's victory was clouded in more controversy when replays also appeared to show Waquar gouging and scratching the ball.

Such an action is thought to aid extravagant swing of the ball.

Similar accusations were levelled at Pakistan eight years ago in England.

Waqar Younis has denied attempting to tamper with the ball
Waqar Younis has denied attempting to tamper with the ball
On that occasion, Waqar and Wasim Akram bowled the tourists to a 2-1 series victory.

Those suggestions of foul play have always been strenuously denied, and Waqar was keen to play down the latest speculation.

Channel 4 sparked the latest row with pictures on their Monday night highlights programme.

Presenter Mark Nicholas said: "If the match referee had been watching on television, one wonders what he would have made of those pictures."

But Waqar denied the allegation, stressing: "No one spoke to me about the ball."

And tour manager Yawar Saeed insisted: "If there was any ball tampering I would have known about it.

"There was absolutely nothing wrong. We won the match fair and square and people should be happy with that."

The Pakistan captain did, however, confirm that umpire David Shepherd spoke to him about his players running on the pitch.

But both officials confirmed no action would be taken.

Match referee Brian Hastings elected not to discipline anybody after warning both sides about their behaviour on Saturday evening.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
First Class Umpires Chairman Barry Leadbeater
"I think with the cameras it picks up the obvious no balls"
England's Selectors Chairman David Graveney
"Umpiring is an incredibly difficult job"
Captain Alec Stewart
"Everybody makes mistakes even players"
Former England bowler Angus Fraser
"You have to question what's going on"

Sports Talk SPORTS TALK
Crickets umpires are under increasing scrutiny since television audiences have increased The magic eye
Should cricket umpires get help with no-balls?

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