Zimbabwe v Bangladesh ODIs - Men's
Controversial dismissal re-calls famous Waugh story
Zimbabwe skipper given out by the third umpire in ODI against Bangladesh, putting the focus on the grey area in the laws regarding hit wicket dismissals
19 July 2021, 02:44 PM AEST
Zimbabwe skipper Brendan Taylor was dismissed in unusual fashion on Sunday, sparking memories of a controversial moment involving Mark Waugh from almost a quarter of a century ago.
Taylor was given out hit wicket in the second ODI against Bangladesh in Harare after he inadvertently dislodged the bails with his bat.
Having played and missed at a ball from Bangladesh fast bowler Shoriful Islam, Taylor swung his left arm backwards towards his stumps and the toe end of the bat clipped the wickets and dislodged the bails.
After Bangladesh appealed, the on-field officials referred the incident to the third umpire, who adjudged Taylor out for 46.
The incident was similar to a moment during the 1998 Adelaide Test between Australia and South Africa, when Waugh was adjudged not out as the home side desperately tried to hang on for a draw.
Late in the final session as the Proteas pushed for victory, Waugh was struck on the elbow and the ball flew away and landed safely. As Waugh walked away from his crease, the edge of his bat hit the stumps, dislodging the bails.
However, the third umpire in that game ruled that Waugh had completed his shot when the bails were dislodged and declared the Australian not out.
The decision sparked a furious reaction from South Africa skipper Hansie Cronje, who is said to have later speared a stump through the door of the umpires' room.
The laws of the game regarding hit wicket dismissals can often be contentious due to a grey area regarding whether the wicket is disturbed during or after a batsman has completed his or her movement.
Law 220.127.116.11 states that a batter will be given out if they dislodge their bails "in the course of any action taken by him/her in preparing to receive or in receiving a delivery".
However, Law 35.2 states: "The striker is not out under this Law should his/her wicket be put down ... after the striker has completed any action in receiving the delivery".
The grey area in the laws allowed the officials to make a judgement call as to whether or not, in Sunday's incident, Taylor had effectively completed his shot.
There is further ambiguity regarding the dead ball law.
Law 20.1.1 states: "The ball becomes dead when ... it is finally settled in the hands of the wicket-keeper or of the bowler". In the Taylor instance, the ball was in the gloves of the wicketkeeper before the batsman dislodged the bails.
However, there is also a provision here for the umpire to use discretion.
Law 20.1.2 states: "The ball shall be considered to be dead when it is clear to the bowler's end umpire that the fielding side and both batsmen at the wicket have ceased to regard it as in play".
And, most crucially, Law 20.2 states: "Whether the ball is finally settled or not is a matter for the umpire alone to decide".
Speaking to cricket.com.au in 2016, Waugh maintained that the correct decision had been made with his 1998 dismissal.
"As far as I was concerned, I'd finished my shot, I'd walked away and my arm went numb," he said.
"I'd completed my shot, end of story. After that, you can do whatever you want."
Taylor was not asked about his dismissal following Sunday's match, which Bangladesh won by three wickets.
The tourists passed the victory target of 241 with five balls remaining to finish on 7-242 and take an unassailable 2-0 lead.
Allrounder Shakib Al Hasan hit 96 not out to continue a brilliant series for him. His five wickets in the first game took him top of Bangladesh's all-time highest wicket-takers in ODIs.
Zimbabwe had a chance when Bangladesh were 5-130 but couldn't keep the pressure on, with Shakib's unbeaten 69-run partnership with No.9 Mohammad Saifuddin (28 not out) getting Bangladesh home.