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Bizarre seven-ball over sparks controversy in BBL game

seven-ball over
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

It was bizarre enough that umpires mistakenly allowed a seven-ball over in a Big Bash League match. It was more controversial that a wicket fell on the extra ball.

Umpires Geoff Joshua and Simon Fry miscounted the number of balls in the second over of Perth Scorchers’ chase against Sydney Sixers on Sunday, 13 January. Facing Ben Dwarshuis’ short ball as the seventh ‘legal’ delivery of the over, batsman Michael Klinger cut to third man to a diving Stephen O’Keefe.

It went upstairs, where third umpire Nathan Johnstone confirmed the catch had been taken cleanly. However, despite the miscount, and the eventual realisation of the error of the seven-ball over, the wicket stood as per the Laws of cricket.

According to Law 17.5.2, “If the umpire miscounts the number of valid balls, the over as counted by the umpire shall stand.”

In a statement after the match, Cricket Australia confirmed, “It appears there was a miscount of balls in the over and a seventh ball was allowed by umpires.

As the ball was bowled it is deemed live and consequently, the decision stands. The incident will be followed up in Cricket Australia’s general match review process and feedback will, of course, be taken on board.”

Adam Voges, the Scorchers coach, said the controversy was “not ideal”. “Obviously it’s the umpires’ jobs to count the number of balls in an over,” he added.

Fortunately for the Scorchers, Klinger’s wicket didn’t affect them hugely. Chasing the Sixers’ 177/5, Cameron Bancroft led the charge, smashing 87* off 61 balls. He found good support in captain Ashton Turner, whose 30-ball 60 included three sixes. The seven-wicket win was completed with seven balls to spare.


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