Michael Neser took a stunning catch to dismiss Jordan Silk in a BBL 2023 match when Brisbane Heat played Sydney Sixers. But the grab has stirred a debate in the cricketing circles.
Despite the clarity of rules, cricket can be a complicated sport at times. In today's day and age, the rules and regulations are constantly updated, and some of them could be applied to one format but not to others.
On the last ball of the seventh over, Silk launched James Bazley over extra cover. The ball sailed past the rope, but Michael Neser hopped over the boundary and did something unique to leave the fans wide-eyed.
The Australian cricketer took the catch but lofted the ball up in the air as he moved outside the boundary line.The ball was set to land outside the boundary, but Michael Neser, with his presence of mind, jumped as he made contact with the ball once again to push the ball back inside the boundary before grabbing it.
"I didn't know if they'd changed the rules so I'm going to give it a crack and thankfully they didn't change the rules," Michael Neser said in the post-match interview.
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) January 1, 2023
As much as the catch was unique, it has thrown the entire cricketing community into a frenzy. On one hand, fans say it's out because the ball was already outside the boundary line.
On the other hand, you have people saying that it is not out because Michael Neser didn't break any rule of the game and had the presence of mind.
However, the rules allow the fielders to move beyond the boundary line to take the catch.
According to law 19.5.2, "A fielder who is not in contact with the ground is considered to be grounded beyond the boundary if his/her final contact with the ground, before his/her first contact with the ball after the bowler has delivered it, was not entirely within the boundary."
While the fielder is taking the catch, his first contact must be inside the boundary. Secondly, he shouldn't contact the ball and the ground simultaneously outside the boundary.
For those who believe you can set their field outside the boundary line, the rule eliminates their logic.
The boundary line catch rule has changed over the last decade. In October 2013, the rule stated that the fielder must be grounded in bounds before completing the catch.
However, everyone was confused when Josh Lalor took a catch over the boundary line in 2015. Glen Maxwell expressed his opinion on Twitter, calling it not out because he believed that a fielder could not go over the boundary line to take the catch.
Nevertheless, the umpires made the right decision, and Lalor's catch stood.
Brisbane Heat vs. Sydney Sixers: BBL 2023 Match Summary
In a high-scoring game, Brisbane Heat scored 224/5 in 20 overs. Nathan McSweeney and Josh Brown had pivotal contributions with the bat, scoring 84 and 62, respectively.
It was hard work for the Sixers' bowlers as everyone had expensive figures. Izharulhaq Naveed was the only bowler with an economy of less than 10.
Despite a decent start provided by the openers, the Sixers simply couldn't take advantage. James Vince and Jordan Silk were the significant contributors with the bat, scoring 41 each.
Apart from taking that memorable catch to dismiss Silk, Michael Neser was equally as effective with the ball. The 32-year-old picked up three wickets and gave away 41 runs in his four overs. The Sixers finished were all out for 209 in 20 overs.
Brown was judged as the player of the match with his match-winning contribution with the bat.
Although Michael Neser's catch in BBL 2023 was controversial, of course the referee gave a correct decision in the end. BBL 2023 will continue.
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