Virat Kohli
Captain Virat Kohli dives as he avoids a run out during the 2nd ODI between India and South Africa in Centurion on Sunday, February 4GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images

Cricket fans, on-air commentators and Twitterati were left speechless as on-field umpires decided to take a lunch break with India needing only two runs to win the second ODI of the six-match series in Centurion on Sunday, February 4.

Also read: Yuzvendra Chahal speaks after record five-wicket haul in Centurion 

The umpires strictly went by the book when they put a break on the play as India were cruising towards the 119-run target at the Supersport Park. India were 117/1 as Shikhar Dhawan (51) and Virat Kohli (44) remained unbeaten when the on-field officials intervened.

Earlier in the match, the umpires had extended the play by 15 minutes postponing the lunch break hoping India would complete the chase.

However, as India failed to get the runs in the stipulated time, the umpires decided to take the players off the field, helping raise quite a few eyebrows. Captain Virat Kohli, who was unbeaten on 44, was seen having an animated chat with the on-field umpires before heading to the dressing room.

Following the end of a 45-minute break, India eventually got those two runs and cruised to a nine-wicket win over South Africa to go 2-0 up in the ODI series. 

The on-air commentators questioned the decision and called it "laughable" and one that lacked "common sense". Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar opined that nobody would have complained if the umpires had allowed the play to resume.

"Hard to understand, but that's what cricket is. At times, one can be very rigid about rules. I think common sense should have prevailed. Nobody would have complained," Gavaskar said on-air on Sunday.

Before checking out the reactions to the bizarre lunch break, take a look at this piece of information from International Cricket Council's rule book.

Here's the ICC clause 11.4.4, which allows officials to change 'agreed times of intervals'.

The umpires may decide to play 15 minutes (a minimum of four overs) extra time at the scheduled interval if requested by either captain if, in the umpires' opinion, it would bring about a definite result in that session. If the umpires do not believe a result can be achieved no extra time shall be allowed.

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