T20 Mumbai League: Wicket results in dead-ball, thanks to erring umps

Jay Bista and Hersh Tank’s record partnership in the T20 Mumbai League was overhsadowed by a bizarre controversy that forced match referee Varsha Nagrey being forced to step on to the field.

Umpires' error turned semifinal into a fiesty affair. (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)   -  VIVEK BENDRE

Jay Bista and Hersh Tank’s record partnership in the T20 Mumbai League was overshadowed by a bizarre controversy that forced match referee Varsha Nagrey being forced to step on to the field. Nagrey had to convince Aakash Tigers MWS captain Dhawal Kulkarni to continue the game after a wicket-taking delivery was instead nullified as a dead-ball during the T20 semifinal.

At the end of the 15th over, with the SoBo Supersonics having piled on 158 for no loss, Hersh Tank required medical attention after suffering cramps. After the hold-over, however, instead of heading to the non-striker’s end - with Bista having trudged to a single off the last ball - Tank remained at the Garware End, closer to where he had received treatment.

Sensing that the batsmen haven’t changed ends, scorers tried their best to intervene but a communication error through walkie-talkie resulted in their signal going on deaf ears. Neither the on-field umpires Rajesh Deshpande and Anand Owalekar nor third umpire Kamlesh Sharma realised the error and Tank erroneously faced Kulkarni off the first ball of the 16th over.

To make matters worse, Tank’s top-edged pull was caught by Shams Mulani sprinting in from long-on. However, that’s when the umpires realised the error and consulted each other. Kulkarni, the Tigers captain, was livid at even the suggestion of a dead-ball. Finally, Nagrey had to walk on to the field to explain to Kulkarni and his troupe and direct umpires to signal a dead-ball and resume play with Bista, the legitimate man, on strike.

Tank, then, received a vociferous send-off after being run-out, incidentally with Kulkarni the fielder and Mulani as the bowler.

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