Explained: Ball in gloves, arm breaks wicket – why Yastika Bhatia’s run out of Sophie Devine was legal
Explained: Sophie Devine was given runout in RCB’s final group stage clash in the WPL today (March 21), despite wicketkeeper Yastika Bhatia’s elbow dislodging the bails rather than her gloves. Here’s why.
Opening the batting against Mumbai Indians, Devine was called through for a single in the first over of the innings by Smriti Mandhana at the non-striker’s end. As the ball trickled towards Amelia Kerr at backward point, Devine hesitated and turned back having got a third of the way down the pitch.
Mandhana continued to run towards the striker’s end, with both batters briefly headed in the same direction. When Mandhana turned back, the obvious end to throw at was the non-striker’s given how far both batters were down the pitch. But, with no fielder behind the stumps, Kerr’s throw would have to hit the stumps.
Instead, Kerr threw the shorter distance to the striker’s end where Bhatia was waiting next to the stumps. As the bullet throw from Kerr hit Bhatia’s gloves, her elbow dislodged the bails from the stumps.
Replays showed that Devine was just short of her ground when the stumps were broken. She was given out by the TV umpire after he had seen multiple angles of Bhatia breaking the wicket with her elbow. Given the common misconception that a wicketkeeper has to break the wicket with their gloves while the ball is in their hands for a dismissal to be fair, the commentators clarified the rule.
“If anyone is confused as to why that was given out even though Yastika didn’t take the bails off with her gloves it was her forearm, but anything under your elbow touching the stumps when you have the ball in your hand is alright,” said the commentator.
Watch Yatika Bhatia’s runout of Sophie Devine here
MCC Law 188.8.131.52 states: “The wicket is broken fairly if a bail is completely removed from the top of the stumps… by a fielder with his/her hand or arm, providing that the ball is held in the hand or hands so used, or in the hand of the arm so used.”
Given that the ball hit Bhatia’s gloves at the exact time her arm dislodged the bails, Devine was rightfully given out.
The wicket was a particular blow to RCB’s chances in the game given Devine’s extraordinary innings on Saturday (March 17), where she hit 99 in the side’s second win of the tournament. After Devine was runout, RCB collapsed to 125-9 in 20 overs. A victory for Mumbai Indians would move them to the top of the table ahead of the final match of the league stage between UP Warriorz and Delhi Capitals.