Fox Cricket’s commentators have been left stunned after Victoria snatched victory with a final ball six over NSW before umpires called the game off due to bad light.
Victoria’s captain, Peter Handscomb pleaded with umpires at the end of the 28th over to remain on the field in an attempt to try and reach the Duckworth-Lewis par score.
Victoria required seven runs to win by the end of the 29th over, and NSW captain Kurtis Patterson allowed the game to continue by bowling part-time spinner Jason Sangha.
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Matt Short was able to hit a last-ball six, overtaking the par score before Handscomb “took his gloves off and started walking off” according to Fox Cricket’s Brendon Julian.
“Any excuse to get off the ground and not play looks to be the first thing first,” Julian said.
“Peter Handscomb pleaded with the umpire to say we want to stay out and get ahead of the run rate, bowl the spinner and we will stay out here.
“They got ahead and all of a sudden Peter Handscomb took his gloves off and started walking off saying the light’s bad… it should never be up to the players.
“Kurtis Patterson, the captain of NSW out there pleading, trying to get the umpires to start this game, but the umpire, Phil Gillespie, is saying it is unsafe to play.
“This is just a joke.”
Fox Cricket’s Darren Lehmann was shocked play had stopped, explaining the Victorian batsmen was able to belt a six on the final ball — even in the conditions.
“I find this amazing Brendon, especially since the last ball that was delivered in this game went for six, so they must be able to see,” Lehmann said.
“You had Victoria, other over before who were behind on the par score, needed seven runs to get ahead on the par score,” Julian said.
“So NSW tried to do the right thing by bowling spin, to make it safe, but because Nathan Lyon bowled eight overs, he can’t bowl anymore,” Lehmann said.
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Julian, who played seven Tests for Australia, labelled Victoria’s victory as a “sad indictment of cricket” as Patterson and Handscomb shook hands to signal the end of the contest.
“This is just a sad indictment of cricket in Australia, Peter Handscomb argued with NSW to stay out there for another over,” Julian said.
“So they could get ahead on the par score, they bowled one over of spin and hit the last ball for six, getting above the par score at the 29th over mark.
“Then the umpires have gone, it is bad light, we need to go off.
“Very good shot for the last ball when it was dark and it was meant to be unsafe.
“This is a sad indictment for cricket in Australia when it gets to the situation in a one-day game like this, when the umpire stands out in the middle with his light meter and says it is too dark.
“They got seven off the last over, he hit the last ball for six then walked off the ground saying the light’s bad, it is just ridiculous.
“A poor example of when cricket and the umpires cannot get on… one minute it is not safe, the next Victoria squeeze another over out.
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As the dust settled, Victoria walked away with the first win of the Marsh One-Day Cup in controversial circumstances.
NSW opener Daniel Hughes shone for his side with a well-played 117 off 28 deliveries, while Todd Murphy was the pick of the Victorian bowlers.
Young gun opener Will Pucvoski led his side to their winning total of 3-158 with a strong 64 from 75 balls while Test opener Marcus Harris chipped in with 41 from 43.