There was controversy after a record batting score in the Big Bash League (BBL) Twenty20 tournament in Brisbane today (January 10). It was a thrilling finish at the Gabba as Hobart Hurricanes won by three runs against Brisbane Heat.
Hurricanes' batsman D'Archy Short entered BBL history books by blasting the highest ever individual score in the tournament. The 27-year-old scored 122 off 69 balls with eight fours and eight sixes.
Thanks to opener Short's big knock, Hurricanes posted 179/4 in 20 overs. In reply, Heat started well but could not cross the line, finishing at 176/8 in 20 overs.
Towards the end there was controversy when Heat's Alex Ross was given out for obstructing the field. He was sent back to the pavilion by third umpire Simon Lightbody on the final ball of the 17th over.
While attempting for a second run, Ross did deviate from his running path. However, it was not clear if it was deliberate or trying to avoid the ball. The throw from the deep hit Ross and ricocheted onto the stumps. Hurricanes fielders first appealed for a run out.
After watching several replays, the third umpire relayed the message to on-field official Geoff Davidson who raised the finger. Even the commentators were "stunned" by the decision.
Heat captain Brendon McCullum felt it was not the "right decision".
"Personally, I thought it wasn't the right decision. If I get fined for that, fair play," the New Zealander said after the contest.
"We appealed for the run out. I'm learning the rule as we speak, we saw Ross change his angle, and asked the umpire to check for obstructing the field," rival skipper George Bailey explained.
Not out... end of story— Glenn Maxwell (@Gmaxi_32) January 10, 2018
Here is what the Law says (as mentioned by MCC, the guardian of the laws of the game)
37.1 Out Obstructing the field
37.1.1 Either batsman is out Obstructing the field if, except in the circumstances of 37.2, and while the ball is in play, he/she wilfully attempts to obstruct or distract the fielding side by word or action. See also Law 34 (Hit the ball twice).
37.1.2 The striker is out Obstructing the field if, except in the circumstances of 37.2, in the act of receiving a ball delivered by the bowler, he/she wilfully strikes the ball with a hand not holding the bat. This will apply whether it is the first strike or a second or subsequent strike. The act of receiving the ball shall extend both to playing at the ball and to striking the ball more than once in defence of his/her wicket.
37.1.3 This Law will apply whether or not No ball is called.
37.2 Not out Obstructing the field
A batsman shall not be out Obstructing the field if
obstruction or distraction is accidental,
or obstruction is in order to avoid injury,
or in the case of the striker, he/she makes a second or subsequent strike to guard his/her wicket lawfully as in Law 34.3 (Ball lawfully struck more than once). However, see 37.3.
37.3 Obstructing a ball from being caught
The striker is out Obstructing the field should wilful obstruction or distraction by either batsman prevent a catch being completed. This shall apply even though the obstruction is caused by the striker in lawfully guarding his/her wicket under the provision of Law 34.3 (Ball lawfully struck more than once).
37.4 Returning the ball to a fielder
Either batsman is out Obstructing the field if, at any time while the ball is in play and, without the consent of a fielder, he/she uses the bat or any part of his/her person to return the ball to any fielder.
37.5 Runs scored
When either batsman is dismissed Obstructing the field,
37.5.1 unless the obstruction prevents a catch from being made, any runs completed by the batsmen before the offence shall be scored, together with any runs awarded for penalties to either side. See Laws 18.6 (Runs awarded for penalties) and 18.8 (Runs scored when a batsman is dismissed).
37.5.2 if the obstruction prevents a catch from being made, any runs completed by the batsmen shall not be scored but any penalties awarded to either side shall stand.
37.6 Bowler does not get credit
The bowler does not get credit for the wicket.