Lancashire claim final ball officiating error cost them T20 Blast title

Lancashire claim final ball officiating error cost them T20 Blast title

Lancashire believe they should have been given a second run on the last ball against Hampshire, rather than just a bye, and so won the T20 Blast title on Saturday night after a chaotic final at Edgbaston.

After a dramatic no-ball call forced Nathan Ellis to throw an extra delivery late in the 20th, Lancashire were two short of Hampshire’s total. Under Blast playing conditions, knockout matches will not be first by the team that lost the fewest wickets (they had both lost eight) and then the team with the highest score high on the power play (Lancashire went 60 to Hampshire’s 48).

As a result, Lancashire needed two points to claim the title. Richard Gleeson played and missed a slower ball, and Tom Hartley made a pass to wicketkeeper Ben McDermott, who ran to the stumps and dislodged the sureties from the keeper’s side.

Gleeson, meanwhile, was coming back for two after putting his bat down on the non-attacking side, and Hartley left once he saw Gleeson running towards him. McDermott ran to the end of the bowler and received a stump which had been removed in celebration by Mason Crane, but Hartley appeared to have made his way before the wicket was broken – if he was at all. A bye was awarded meaning Hampshire won by one point.

“We thought the ball was still alive and Tommy came back for two,” said Lancashire captain Dane Vilas. “There was a bit of confusion there but the umpires called the ball dead as soon as they took the stumps [bails] at the striker’s end.”

According to Law 20.1.2, “the ball is considered dead when it is clear to the pitching-side umpire that the fielding team and both wicket-batters have ceased to consider it in play.”

“There was a bit of confusion because we thought the boys were going to have another run and Tommy was very keen to get that other run,” Vilas said. “We will come back to the game in a bit more detail.

“Everything was going on there at this point. I can’t be 100% sure what exactly was said, but we thought maybe we could have taken a look and see if he it was a review or something, but it obviously wasn’t and ended up being called a victory in Hampshire.”

Vilas asked why the referees, David Millns and Graham Lloyd, hadn’t checked on exactly what happened with the television referee. “They’re looking for everything else,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s their decision, and their decision is final. As players, we know that and respect that, so we just have to move on. It’s what it is.”

Vilas’ view seemed to be shared by Daniel Gidney, the club’s chief executive. He retweeted a tweet from Jordan Clark, the former Lancashire all-rounder who now plays for Surrey, saying: “Did lancs just run a legit 2 at the end there or was it just me? [sic]”

Hampshire captain James Vince suggested the ball was “obviously” dead when McDermott broke the stumps on the keeper’s side. “Dane came onto the pitch and questioned the referees,” he said. “I think he was trying to say we broke bail when he [Hartley] was in it and then they ran two.

“But, I mean, obviously they weren’t going to run two to the wicket-keeper, so I’m not quite sure what he was trying to say. Once we broke the bonds at the end and whatever, I just double checked with the referees that the game was over and dusted off and they said ‘yes’ and then we celebrated a second time.”

Vince also believed the umpires erred on the last ball of the penultimate innings of Hampshire’s innings, when the dressing room was convinced Lancashire had just three outfielders inside the 30 circle. yards, rather than the required four – a decision that was not checked with the TV referee.

“I felt like some things were going against us,” he said. “When they had three [fielders] Inside the ring and they didn’t look it back and give us the ball it was a few extra points there and in the finals often the ones we played came down to one or two points. It felt like they had a little bit of the friction of the green, so it was very special to cross the line at the end.”

ESPNcricinfo has reached out to MCC for comment.

Matt Roller is associate editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98


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