'Clear mistake': Was crucial Cricket World Cup ruling incorrect?

England benefited from a “clear mistake” from the officials during their thrilling World Cup run chase, according to former international umpire Simon Taufel.

The hosts lifted the trophy for the first time after beating New Zealand following a super over at Lord’s.

England matched New Zealand’s 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, Ben Stokes and Adil Rashid pushed for a second run when a throw from the boundary deflected off Stokes’ outstretched bat and away to the boundary 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.

The ball hit Ben Stokes' bat and ricocheted for four. Image: Channel Nine

Ben Stokes and Adil Rashid hadn't crossed. Image: Channel Nine

“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.”

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.

PA has contacted the ICC for comment.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was magnanimous in defeat.

"The rule has been there for a long time," Williamson said.

"I don't think anything like that's happened (before) where you now question it. There were so many other bits and pieces to that game that were so important."

Stokes immediately raised his hands to apologise for the incident, with the England allrounder clearly having no intention to deflect the ball.

"I wasn't celebrating," England captain Eoin Morgan said.

"It is not something you celebrate or cheer."