A second shocking umpiring call in the space of a week has cricket fans calling for change in the WBBL.
In Monday’s clash between the Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Thunder at UTAS Stadium, openers Lizelle Lee and Elise Vilani were making a strong start for Hobart before a controversial moment.
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Lee thought she had guided a delivery from Heather Knight down towards third man and went wandering out of her crease, only for Thunder wicketkeeper Tahlia Wilson to take the ball in her gloves and knock the bails off.
Replays showed Lee was clearly out of her crease but the on field umpires didn’t give it out and the South Africa import was allowed to continue her innings.
Fox Cricket’s Ben Homer said in commentary: “Tahlia Wilson asking the question. Lizelle Lee, it’s a nervous look on her face. Wilson thought initially there may have been an edge and then Lizelle Lee’s gone walkabout here, I’m knocking the bails off.
“Well she was definitely out. Way out. She’s going to survive.”
Kirby Short added: “I can’t believe that at this level. That’s a genuine howler.
“The cricket gods perhaps shining on her today.”
Last season it was revealed the DRS system would be used in 24 of the 59 WBBL matches — the games broadcast on Channel 7.
However, this game was among the remaining games were broadcast on Foxtel and cricket.com.au via live stream technology that doesn’t support DRS.
Officials said the plan would be to work towards full DRS coverage in the future.
However, incidents like this will no doubt increase calls to fast-track the technology.
The controversial not out call allowed the Hurricanes to post their highest opening partnership of the season (68).
Homer said: “Things have got a bit ragged since that not out decision and I just wonder whether the (Thunder) players knew she was out.”
The Thunder found a breakthrough when Vilani scooped the ball onto her own stumps, ending her solid knock of 44 off 33 balls.
Lee was on 12 at the time of the stumping but took full advantage of her reprieve, scoring 91 off 54 balls before she was eventually dismissed in the last over.
The Hurricanes were 3/174 off their 20 overs, setting the Thunder a challenging total to chase down.
It comes after Rhys McKenna of the Melbourne Stars was given out in an absolute howler against the Melbourne Renegades last week.
An over after Annabel Sutherland had been stumped by Bridget Patterson off her pads, it looked like McKenna had been victim of the same dismissal when the square leg umpire had lifted the finger.
Facing Aussie quick Megan Schutt, McKenna missed a full ball, having hit 14 off 4 balls, with the rebound off the wicketkeeper’s pads, knocking off the leg stump bail.
The plot thickened when the scorecard showed that McKenna had been bowled — even though the ball clearly didn’t hit the stumps. The scorecard was then changed to a stumping.
Originally published as ‘Embarrassing’: WBBL stunned by another ‘genuine howler’