Melbourne Renegades’ run chase against the Adelaide Strikers got off to a bizarre start for a number of reasons, but the umpires initially missed the fact that the Strikers had six fielders down the leg side which is not allowed.
The situation, which was observed by Sydney Thunder captain Chris Green in the Channel 7 commentary box, arose with Sam Harper facing his first delivery after Martin Guptill was dismissed on the fourth ball of Matt Short’s opening over.
“They don’t realise, there’s going to be a no-ball,” said Green as Short bowled the ball.
Travis Head, the captain of the Strikers, brought himself down at leg slip where he then took a stunning catch. Harper was given out on the ground, but a straight review, replays showed he had missed the ball, but the field infringement was not observed.
Short then bowled his next ball which was swept by Harper and the ball looped over leg slip. By this time, the renegades’ dug outs, including Australia’s T20 captain Aaron Finch, had noticed the field setting and the umpires conferred, apparently having been informed by the TV official.
A no-ball was called late on, which meant a free hit, although the striker was allowed to change fields to remove the sixth man down the leg side. In the end, the free hit cost only a single as Harper swiped it in off the bottom edge.
The Laws of the game have come into focus on several occasions this BBL season with Adam Zampa’s failed run-out attempt and Michael Neser’s extraordinary boundary catch.