The lack of DRS in the Big Bash League reared its ugly head again on Sunday night as cricket fans around the country lost the plot over fresh controversy.
Sam Heazlett dragged the Brisbane Heat into the BBL semi-final, ending Sydney Thunder’s season with a sublime career-best knock of 74 not out.
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However Heazlett’s heroics were somewhat overshadowed by another umpiring howler that once again exposed the BBL’s refusal to implement DRS.
Usman Khawaja was lucky to survive an lbw shout in the opening overs at Manuka Oval, with replays showing the ball was crashing into middle stump.
— 7Cricket (@7Cricket) January 31, 2021
However the on-field umpire refused to raise the finger, and the Heat were unable to use DRS - which hasn’t been introduced in the BBL despite widespread pleas from fans.
“It’s Manuka, not the Gabba,” one Brisbane Heat player could be heard yelling out.
Adam Gilchrist, commentating for Fox Cricket, was left shellshocked that the umpire hadn’t given it out.
On Channel Seven, Ricky Ponting said: “You don’t get much more out than that.
“The line of that looked absolutely spot on. It hit him low on the pad as well.”
Fans flocked to social media in disbelief, describing the calibre of umpiring in this season’s BBL as “disgraceful” and “horrible”.
BBL umpiring has been an absolute disgrace all summer. The 3 blind mice would do better.
— Tim Kendall (@Kendulkar) January 31, 2021
Umpires are horrible
— Lachlan Steele (@Lachy_Steele) January 31, 2021
Why drs is not used in bbl, terrible decisions in almost every game, 1-2 bad decisions can change the result of the game, big disappointment.
— nikhil mahajan (@nikhilmahajan22) January 31, 2021
How is the lack of DRS justifiably at this point in time. We’ve got players being held accountable for their bad behaviour, hold umpires accountable for their terrible and off putting umpire. It’s negligent at this stage.
— Johbe Mann (@botshotsrus) January 31, 2021
That is a shocker. How can you be an umpire in this comp and not give that out?
— Morris Minor (@MorrisMinor16) January 31, 2021
That’s horrible, the umpiring has been a farce.
— scott brennan (@scottbrennan13) January 31, 2021
The lack of DRS was back in the spotlight on Saturday night when Mitchell Marsh was given out caught behind down the leg side despite the ball clearly missing his bat.
The Decision Review System isn’t currently in use because the required technology would cost approximately $2 million per season.
Heazlett’s heroics send Sydney Thunder packing
The Heat, chasing a target of 159 in Sunday night's elimination final at Manuka Oval, crashed to 2-14 after losing openers Joe Denly and Chris Lynn.
The required run-rate threatened to get out of control as Heazlett and Marnus Labuschagne (32) sought to stabilise rather than slap boundaries in their 56-run partnership.
Brisbane needed 89 runs from 48 balls when a diving Labuschagne was run out at the end of the 12th over.
But Heazlett and Jimmy Peirson (43 not out) seized momentum and a seven-wicket win, combining in an unbeaten 92-run stand that spanned just 43 deliveries.
Heazlett, who stroked six fours and slapped three sixes, was dropped on 69 by teenager Tanveer Sangha in the 19th over.
It was the only glaring mistake in a masterful innings which ensured Brisbane completed the chase with five balls remaining.
“My head was probably spinning a bit early, I played and missed at a few balls,” Heazlett said.
“Jimmy has been playing really well, he's in great form this season. So we had full confidence we could lift the run-rate.
“The whole way through we were confident.”
Thunder captain Callum Ferguson lamented his side's inability to break the game-changing partnership.
“We had enough to defend,” Ferguson said.
“At the halfway point of their batting innings, at our best we win the game from there.”
The Heat next face Perth Scorchers on Thursday night, when the winner will advance to an SCG final against Sydney Sixers on Saturday night.
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