Cricket controversy erupts over dead ball drama in Aussie women's ODI

Australia completed a 3-0 clean sweep in their ODI series against Pakistan, but not without some controversy.

Nida Dar, pictured here pulling away from a Tahlia McGrath delivery very late in the third women's cricket ODI.
Nida Dar pulled away from a Tahlia McGrath delivery very late in the third women's cricket ODI. Image: Channel 7

Cricket fans and commentators have questioned whether Australia were wrongly denied a wicket against Pakistan in the third women's ODI when Nida Dar was bowled by a delivery that was deemed a dead ball. The Aussies completed a 3-0 clean sweep of the series on Saturday, with Beth Mooney blasting 133 off 105 balls as the hosts won by 101 runs.

However the talking point after the game was the bizarre scenes in which Dar pulled away from a delivery well after it left Tahlia McGrath's hand, letting the ball cannon into her stumps. The ball was halfway down the pitch when Dar decided to pull out, leaving players and commentators stunned.

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Umpire Claire Polosak deemed the delivery a dead ball and the Aussies didn't argue due to the lop-sided scoreline, but many questioned whether the correct call was made. Umpires will only typically allow a batter to pull out of a delivery if they do so before it has left the bowler's hand.

“I was always under the impression that when you were in your stance and tapped your bat down, you were ready to accept the delivery,” former Australia captain Rachael Haynes said in commentary for Fox Cricket. “Nida Dar needs to be a bit careful there.”

On Channel 7, Lisa Sthalekar said "that was really late", while Trent Copeland added: "That's out."

Cricket commentator Sam Tugwell wrote on Twitter: “That’s out. The ball is well and truly out of Tahlia’s hand.” Fans were also quick to suggest Dar was lucky not to be given out.

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Beth Mooney stars as Aussies thrash Pakistan

In the end it mattered very little as Pakistan finished 7-235 at the end of their 50 overs, well back from Australia's total of 9-336. The win means Australia have now swept 11 of their past 12 bilateral ODI series.

After making 57 not out in the second match on Wednesday, Mooney unleashed on Pakistan's attack on Saturday and took particular liking debutante leg-spinner Tuba Hassan. The Queenslander hit Hassan for three straight sixes - one landing on the roof of the O'Reilly Stand and another bouncing off it and onto the road.

Beth Mooney, pictured here after scoring her century against Pakistan.
Beth Mooney celebrates after scoring her century against Pakistan. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

The Aussie batter brought up her third career hundred in ODIs when she hit Hassan behind square for four. The explosion came after Mooney looked scratchy early and managed just 16 from her first 37 balls. DShe then made 117 from her next 68.

"Any opportunity we get to be out in the middle is crucial coming into that T20 World Cup in South Africa," Mooney said. "It's going to be one of the most tightly contested World Cups going around. To be able to get a bit of form ... and spend a bit of time out in the middle this series has been nice."

Playing in her first series since a five-month break from the game, captain Meg Lanning contributed 72 with the bat. It was a welcome sight for Australia ahead this week's T20 series against Pakistan and upcoming World Cup.

with AAP

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