Has Kieron Pollard opened up cricket's latest can of worms?

The big West Indian has been accused of cheating and deliberately taking a short run in order to retain the strike and give Mumbai Indians the best chance of chasing down Kings XI Punjab's target of 231.

Needing 16 runs to win off the final over, Pollard faced up to Mohit Sharma and punched the first delivery down to long on where Kings XI's Australian captain Glenn Maxwell was on patrol.

With the big-hitting Pollard and the less-intimidating Harbhajan Singh attempting to scamper through for two, Maxwell gathered the ball and threw to the fair end - knowing the wicket of Pollard to be the more valuable of the two.

Advertisement

Maxwell's throw was wide, and Pollard was safe: but a quick check of the video showed why.

He'd pulled up roughly a foot short of the crease when attempting his first run.

Mumbai were duly docked a run, but Pollard was able to retain strike - and he dispatched the next ball over the rope, leaving the home side with nine runs for victory from the final four deliveries.

Immediately, Pollard's actions were scrutinised with respected cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle noting that it appeared to have been done deliberately.

"Won't be surprised if Pollard ran one short deliberately to keep strike," Bhogle said.

Had the umpires ruled Pollard had deliberately stopped short - in order to get back on strike, while still gaining a run - then the rules are much stricter.

All runs are disallowed to the batting side and both batsmen are given a first and final warning "that the practice is unfair".

A second offence, and the batting side is penalised five runs.

As it transpired, Pollard's trickery and six-hitting ability weren't enough as Sharma held his nerve to allow just one run from the final four deliveries and secure a crucial seven-run victory.

Pollard finished unbeaten on 50 from 24 balls.

Pollard did not comment on the incident post-match.

It remains to be seen if the tactic, if it was in fact deliberate, will be employed by other batsmen seeking an advantage while batting at the death.