When the Indian Captain withdrew his appeal, allowing Ian Bell to return to the crease to bat some more, he did a fine thing. In this world of lawyers, rules, and fighting over every detail and advantage, it was a magnanimous and popular gesture.
Ian Bell was out. He had been given out by the Umpire. He only had himself to blame, as he had not checked whether the ball was out of play and the over concluded. The law said his innings was over.
Watching the replays it was also clear Ian Bell had grounded his bat in the crease, completing his run. He had then started to walk off for tea. The two England batsmen were not attempting a further run. In the spirit of the game Ian Bell was not run out, because he was not trying to complete a run.
Given the state of the game and the brilliance of Bell’s batting, it was the triumph of the spirit of cricket. It subsequently turned out that England won easily. No-one can say India threw it away with this gesture. At the time no-one knew how well England would bowl, and there was still everything to play for. It was a genuine sacrifice made by India which can make us all feel better about human nature.