@Ben_Wisden 3 minute read
Watch: James Vince was left frustrated after a big wide from Andrew Tye deprived him of the chance to hit the winning runs and go to a century in one blow in a Big Bash League playoff game.
Vince had expertly guided Sydney Sixers’ pursuit of 168 to win in the Qualifier against Perth Scorchers. Towards the end of the chase, when it became clear that the Sixers were on their way to booking a place in the BBL final, the drama became whether the England batsman would be able to reach his century by the time the win was completed.
Vince struggled for form in the BBL group stages, averaging 26.46, a fact which would have made a ton taste all the sweeter.
Heading into the 17th over, Sydney Sixers needed 10 and Vince needed seven, with the opener striking a boundary off the first ball to improve the equation in his favour. However, after taking a single next ball, Daniel Hughes crashed a pull for four, meaning Sydney Sixers needed just one run with three balls remaining before Vince could get back strike.
Hughes dutifully played out three dots, but when Vince took strike again, on 98 not out and needing a boundary to seal a win and his century, Perth Scorchers quick Tye bowled a big wide down the leg-side, meaning the game was ended there and then. There were boos from the crowd, who might have felt Tye went wayward deliberately. Vince himself gave Tye a look and seemed to deliberate over whether to shake hands before acquiescing.
“That has taken the jam out of the doughnut of James Vince,” said the on-air commentator.
Asked after the game if he felt the wide was bowled on purpose, Vince said “only he will know”.
A look in the replies and quote-tweets below tells you the court of public opinion has made a judgement anyway.
It’s probably best to watch the century-denying wide bowled by Tye to Vince and decide for yourself.
James Vince's face! 😤
— Cricket on BT Sport (@btsportcricket) January 30, 2021
If Tye did act deliberately, he wouldn’t be the first. Sri Lanka’s Suraj Randiv received a ban in 2010 for deliberately bowling a wide to deny Virender Sehwag a hundred in an India win, while Kieron Pollard was criticised during the 2017 Caribbean Premier League after a no-ball left Evin Lewis stranded on 97 not out off 32 balls, though Pollard claimed it wasn’t deliberate. Given it’s Randiv’s birthday, maybe this was just a subtle tribute.