New South Wales spinner Chris Green has found himself at the centre of controversy in the Sheffield Shield after a bizarre moment on day two of the match against Western Australia. Green (12) and veteran NSW quick Jackson Bird (11) will resume their innings on Monday at the WACA, with NSW 12 runs behind the home side after ending day two at 7-244 - in response to WA's first innings knock of 256.
Drama erupted late on day two when Green was at the crease alongside NSW skipper Moses Henriques, who fell just short of his 14th first-class cricket century when he was dismissed for 95. The prized wicket of Henriques came not long after players from WA were left incensed by an incident involving Green, that saw the NSW star survive an appeal for obstructing the field.
The bizarre incident unfolded after Green blocked a delivery from Charlie Stobo back to the WA paceman, who proceeded to throw the ball at the batter's stumps after noticing he'd wandered out of his crease. Green instinctively stuck out his bat to deflect the ball away from the stumps, prompting appeals from the home side.
Under the rules of cricket, Green could have been given out for playing at the ball twice after deliberately using his bat to stop the attempted stumping. If Green had just left the ball clatter into his pads, there would not have been an issue but the fact he chose to block it with his bat sparked backlash, particularly after the umpire chose not to give him out.
“Played that twice, Green. There’s a couple of little queries here from the West Australians about hitting the ball twice,” one commentator said. “He’s half a step outside the crease so probably strictly speaking, he is out obstructing the field if he’s using his bat to defend his stumps when he’s standing out of his crease. It’s interesting the umpires have decided not to give it out - Sam Whiteman wasn’t interested in withdrawing the appeal.”
The controversial moment prompted a back-and-forth between commentators and reignited the 'spirit of cricket debate' over the merits of appealing for the wicket. “You can’t. Don’t appeal that ... don’t start this," another commentator said. “Don’t stoop to this. I don’t think there was any chance it was gonna hit the stumps, because it was gonna cannon into his pads.”
"You can’t. Don’t appeal that ... don’t start this. Don’t stoop to this."
WA has asked for an explanation after the umpires chose not to give a controversial wicket during their Shield clash with NSW.https://t.co/JQ85qJ9mQI
— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) February 4, 2024
Getting feisty in the Sheffield Shield at the WACA. Home side just appealed for an obstructed the field. Umpires ruled it not out.#SheffieldShield
— Andrew McGlashan (@andymcg_cricket) February 4, 2024
I wonder if someone has opened the pandora's box when it comes to bringing every dismissal into play.
— Aman Patel (@lilbrownykid) February 4, 2024
WA asked for 'please explain' over incident
WA coach Adam Voges admitted at stumps that he had sought an explanation from officials about why it was not given out. “I’m waiting to hear from the match referee as to what the interpretation was. I’ve asked the question, I just haven’t got an answer yet,” Voges said. “He’s hit the ball out of his crease," he added.
Henriques - who was controversially dismissed on 95 after being caught out from a delivery he didn't appear to make contact with - said he had no issues with the appeal from WA but questioned what else his batting partner could have done. “I’d turned around for the actual event but he said the ball was just gonna hit him in the legs if he didn’t put the bat there, so I’m not really sure what else he’s supposed to do there,” Henriques said.
“They’re well within their rights to ask their question and that’s up to the umpire as what they decide to do. I can’t blame them for asking the question. I think the right decision was made but yeah, you’re allowed to appeal.”
The Blues were reeling at 3-30 after WA quick Joel Paris and spinner Corey Rocchiccioli ran through the visitors' top-order. Henriques dug in and formed important partnerships with Ollie Davies (21) and in-form allrounder Jack Edwards (34) to get the Blues back on track and turn the match back their way.
Paris was the pick of WA's bowlers with 3-45 from 22 overs, while Rocchiccioli sent down 32 overs in a day for 3-96. WA, who have won the last two Shield finals, sit second after winning three games before the break for the BBL, with NSW looking for their second victory over the West Australians this season.
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