Originally Posted by shankar
Great effort! I've often wondered about exactly this scenario. I think the ruling was right. We don't check whether a fielder's hands are over the rope when taking a catch. Is there a specification on which part of a fielder's body can be outside the ropes?
Have no problem with the fielder's body being outside the boundary, thought the issue might be that the fielder had already made contact with the ground outside the field of play before knocking the ball back in. It's somewhat analogous to a fielder saving a four by knocking the ball away from the rope, then stepping outside the rope before returning to retrieve the ball (which happens all the time and is unquestionably legal). The only difference between the two situations is that in the former the fielder makes second contact with the ball in mid-air (which isn't illegal) and has all or part of their body outside the field of play (which isn't illegal).
So yeah, it's perfectly legal I suppose.