Controversy has erupted at the women's Under-19 T20 World Cup after Australia's Lucy Hamilton was dismissed in unusual fashion. Australia beat Sri Lanka by 108 runs on Wednesday, however Hamilton's dismissal raised eyebrows amongst fans.
The Aussie teenager hit a ball down the ground and initially started coming back for a second run. However she changed her mind and tried to get back into her crease, only to clatter into bowler Rashmi Nethranjalee.
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The throw from the outfield hit the stumps directly, and with Hamilton short of her ground she was given out. Hamilton and batting partner Amy Smith both threw their arms up to question the umpire's decision, but the Aussie was given her marching orders.
Many fans were of the belief that she shouldn't have been out because Nethranjalee obstructed her. Others suggested Sri Lanka should have withdrawn their appeal as it went against the spirit of the game.
“I’ve seen some things on a cricket field, but I don’t think I’ve seen that one,” Charles Dagnall said in commentary. Another commentator added: "Now I've seen everything."
According to ICC laws, the umpires could have declared a dead ball, but only if they deemed the bowler's actions to be intentional. Because Nethranjalee hadn't even seen where Hamilton was and was simply backing up the stumps, Sri Lanka were well within their rights to appeal.
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The controversial incident didn't end up costing the Aussies as they bowled Sri Lanka out for just 51 after making 5-159 from their 20 overs. Ella Hayward top-scored for Australia with 36 off 31 balls, while Sianna Ginger made 30 off 31.
Hamilton took two wickets in the only over she bowled, wrapping up the victory with a double wicket maiden. Maggie Clark also took two wickets as Australia bowled Sri Lanka out in just 13 overs.
“We all back each other - when we keep it simple, we bowl our best,” Smith said afterwards. “Our team can beat any country here.”
Australia's victory helped them qualify for the Super Six stage of the tournament. They are expected to face India and the United Arab Emirates in the next stage.
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