Fans have been left divided over a bizarre moment that saw Ben Cutting in need of stitches and Marcus Harris unsure about whether he was allowed to stay at the crease.
The Melbourne Renegades cruised to victory in a Gabba clash that featured a streaker, a nasty falcon and four dropped catches from the Brisbane Heat on Thursday night.
Chasing just 145 on a Gabba green top, the visitors were helped by some sloppy fielding from the Heat as they won with 26 balls and eight wickets to spare.
Incumbent Test opener Harris was the most notable benefactor of the Heat’s sloppiness as he struck 28 off 18 balls in his return to white ball cricket.
The left-hander was yet to score when he skied a drive that went straight through Cutting’s hands and into his face.
The impact split the all-rounder open above the nose, but the ball then settled on Cutting’s chest and he appeared to quickly threw it up as he fell as if to celebrate.
However Harris was allowed to remain at the crease, with Cutting deemed not to have had complete control of the ball and his body.
That decision left fans divided.
— Gavin McGargill (@gmcgargill) January 10, 2019
On what planet or ground is this a catch?
— Marcelo Ferreira (@QuantumFish777) January 10, 2019
Yes. In control when thrown up.
— ross.steele04@gmail. (@rgeographer) January 10, 2019
Catch. He’s in control. End of…
— Kirk Steel (@ton_up_steel) January 10, 2019
— IMTIYAZ PATEL (@iamimtiyazpatel) January 10, 2019
No catch for mine… funny tho
— Moose (@AFLPaparazzi) January 10, 2019
— Sadik Pathan (@sadik_p) January 10, 2019
Never controlled it is my answer.
— D twit ter (@Danny29635484) January 10, 2019
Under the laws of the game, a fielder must control the ball after a catch, even while celebrating, hence why Harris was given not out.
— Michael Robinson (@ozrobbo) January 10, 2019
Three more dropped catches further deflated the 30,281-strong crowd, with Tom Cooper (36 off 28) and Sam Harper (56 from 40) guiding them home as Cutting returned to the field sporting five stitches and a wry smile.
“There’s always a bit of luck in cricket with selection, if you’re going okay at the right time and making the most of the opportunity when you get it,” Harper said of his opportunity to bat first drop.
“And most importantly in the Big Bash have a bit of fun as well.”
Brendon McCullum (50) had earlier piloted Brisbane with a steady half century off 46 balls, with an audacious scoop his only six of the night.
Chris Lynn (14 off 15) was caught on the boundary and only Cutting (20 off 10) looked comfortable as Cameron Boyce (2-17) and Usman Shinwari (3-16) combined for four troublesome overs.
So sluggish was the innings that a fan – sporting a mullet haircut and overalls – took it upon himself to spice things up, running towards the centre and doing the worm before being tackled and escorted from the ground.
“That’s unlike us; we’re usually a good fielding outfit, right through BBL history,” Cutting said of the side’s fielding.”