Dramatic Scenes: Unsafe Pitch in Australia forced Umpires to Abandon JLT Fixture
Following the dramatic scenes on Sunday at the North Sydney Oval, the umpires in the JLT One-day Cup forced to abandon the match due to the unsafe playing conditions between Peter Handscomb-led Victoria and Peter Nevill-led New South Wales Blues.
Cricket Australia Chief James Sutherland’s son – Will Sutherland – was the chief architect with the white-ball as he ripped through the Blues’ middle-order after claiming four wickets for 11 runs in 5.2 overs.
The fast bowler was playing his just third first-class fixture while leaving a significant impact for the quality domestic side.
Before the match was forced to stop, Victorian team was 35 runs ahead of the Blues, as the side was eventually awarded a match owing to the Duckworth-Lewis Method.
The unsafe conditions was eventually revealed when short-pitched deliveries hit Seb Gotch and then Blake Thompson, as Matthew Short was the top scorer for Victoria with 43 runs.
With the all-important win, Victoria has qualified for the 50-over series finals after Blues struggled with the bat.
When umpires intervened the visiting side was four down with 108 runs on board which chasing down the meager target of 145.
Interestingly, fast bowler Doug Bollinger scored 30 off 34 deliveries, as the Blues side was reeling at 104 for nine.
Blues side was bundled out for 144 in 42.2 overs, as batters for like pack of cards.
The finals fixtures are scheduled to be held in next week as the hosts Blues was ruled out of the competition.
For Blues, Starc (3 for 35) in his devastating spell dismissed wicket-keeper batsman Handscomb, Travis Dean and Marcus Harris, as Victoria was 28 for three at one stage.
However, the bonus point helped Victoria to keep Tasmania away from the third place, as they maintained their scoring rate at 4.15 runs per over when game was stopped when competition reached to the 26 overs in the second half.
However, the bonus point came into play when Victoria was eligible according to the DLS method with the rate of 1.22 times than the hosting side.
The players walked out off the ground after both the skippers shook hands which further left the spectators confused owing to the result under bizarre circumstances.
So far, the Victoria side has further joined South Australia and Western Australia for the finals clash.
However, the Blues bowling line-up was led by pace portent Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, who are going to play crucial role in the upcoming Magellan Ashes 2017.
Pertinently, owing to the precautionary measure, the senior off-spinner Nathan Lyon was benched after struggling with shoulder against Queensland in the recent past.
Victoria’s 35-year-old leg-spinner bagged three wickets after conceding 24 runs.
Tahir Ibn Manzoor
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