Moises Henriques’ dubious catch creates mass confusion during Melbourne Stars BBL victory over Sydney Sixers


Cricket fans have been left scratching their heads after a controversial catch during the Melbourne Stars BBL clash with the Sydney Sixers at the SCG on Tuesday night.

While the Stars upset the Sixers to claim their first win of the BBL season, the match was overshadowed by a ripping catching effort from Sixers captain Moises Henriques which dismissed Stars opener Tom Rogers.

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Chasing 155 for victory against the previously undefeated Sixers, the Stars hauled in the target with three balls to spare to claim the four-wicket win.

But they were forced to do it the hard way after cricket’s controversial clean-catch rule reared its ugly head early in the chase.

With the Stars 0-28 after four overs, Rogers was given out for 20 when Henriques leapt high into the air and grabbed the ball one handed.

Melbourne Stars have overcome a controversial Moises Henriques catch to shock the Sydney Sixers and claim their first win of the BBL season. Credit: Seven

Replays, however, showed the ball was planted onto the ground as Henriques landed, hurting his left shoulder in the process.

Cricket’s laws state a catch cannot be claimed until the fielder has full control of his body and therefore the ball cannot touch the ground in that time.

The catch was similar to the one Mitchell Starc was denied during the Lord’s Test this year to remove Ben Duckett, when he slid with the ball on the ground.

Still, Rogers was forced to walk off after third-umpire Claire Polosak viewed several replays and did not change the on-field soft signal of out.

“The ICC have removed the soft signal of out (but) we’re still paying that in domestic cricket,” Polosak explained on Seven.

“As I was looking through the vision I was hoping I was able to see that … I did not have conclusive evidence to say there was not fingers under the ball so we stuck with the original decision of out, and that was how I made my decision.”

However, when making the call immediately after the catch, Polosak said Henriques’ fingers were under the ball leaving fans and commentators mystified.

“What the third umpire said in this (explanation) is in contrast with her “live” explanation when she said there were fingers clearly under the ball,” one fan said.

“So in her explanation she said there was no conclusive evidence that the fingers weren’t under the ball BUT in the review she said “fingers clearly under the ball”,” another said.

Former Sixers marquee player Brett Lee said on Fox Sports that the ball “clearly” touched the surface and was not out according to the rule book.

“The ball’s definitely hit the deck … the ball clearly touched the surface,” Lee said.

Freelance journalist Adam White agreed.

“This is an excellent catch by Moises. But it’s not out because he put the ball on the ground to brace his fall,” he said.

“Regardless of how spectacular the effort, it’s not out. Simple as that. And the umpire should know that. That’s a really embarrassing oversight.”

Another fan said: “Embarrassingly bad decision made worse by the explanation.”

But after the game Rogers said he thought it was out.

“Moises controlled it and took it beautifully, but I suppose it’s just a grey area with what’s happened in the other game with Mitch Starc’s one.

“It’s obviously a hard one to be on the rough side of it, but at the end of the day I’ve hit a bad shot and he has taken a nice catch so it probably is out.”

Still, the Stars were able to recover after an initial stumble.

Rogers’ dismissal prompted a minor collapse of 4-38, including that of Glenn Maxwell’s dismissal for 12 one ball after he launched Jackson Bird deep over the square-leg boundary.

But Beau Webster and Hilton Cartwright were then able to stabilise the innings, putting on a 56-run stand and getting the margin down to 34 from 22 balls.

And while Webster was caught at long on for 35 trying to take down Sean Abbott, Cartwright was able to get the Stars home with an unbeaten 47.

Earlier, Pakistani spinner Usama Mir had helped set up the win with 3-19 off four overs early in the innings.

His wickets included Henriques when he deceived the Sixers captain and had him stumped, before a quicker ball drew Jordan Silk’s edge later in the over.

James Vince was able to steady the ship for the Sixers, getting through a difficult opening 10 overs before taking charge in the second half of the innings to finish with 83 from 55 balls.

But when he was run out by a Maxwell direct hit, the Stars were able to keep the Sixers to 14 runs from a crucial final two overs of the innings.

– With AAP


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