There was a bizarre start to Melbourne Renegades’ run chase against Adelaide Strikers at Marvel Stadium for a number of reasons, but leading the way was the umpires initially missing the fact that Strikers had six fielders on the leg side which is not permitted.
The situation, which was spotted as it played out by Sydney Thunder captain Chris Green in the Channel 7 commentary box, arose with the fourth ball of the opening over from Matt Short with Sam Harper facing his first delivery following the dismissal of Martin Guptill.
“They don’t realise, there’s about to be a no-ball,” Green said as Short ran into bowl.
Travis Head, Strikers’ captain, had brought himself in at leg slip where he then took what might have been an astonishing catch. Harper was given out on the field but reviewed straightaway, with the replays showing he had missed the ball, but the field infringement was not spotted.
Short then bowled his next delivery which Harper swept at and the ball looped over leg slip. By this point, Renegades’ dug out, including Australia T20 captain Aaron Finch, had appeared to notice the field setting and the umpires then conferred, having seemingly been informed by the TV official.
A no-ball was belatedly called, which meant a free hit, albeit one where Strikers were allowed to change the field to remove the sixth person from the leg side. In the end, the free hit cost just a single as Harper swiped it off a bottom edge.
The laws of the game have come into focus on a number of occasions this BBL season with Adam Zampa’s failed run-out backing up attempt and Michael Neser’s extraordinary boundary catch.