A Big Bash League (BBL) match between Brisbane Heat and Hobart Hurricanes on Thursday turned out to be quite the talking point thanks to some brilliant piece of fielding from the Heat pair of Matt Renshaw and Tom Banton, who joined hands to grab an unthinkable catch to dismiss Hurricanes captain Matthew Wade at The Gabba in Brisbane.
The incident occurred on the penultimate delivery of the 15th over when Wade’s attempt to up the ante saw him sky a delivery from Heat all-rounder Ben Cutting. The ball zoomed towards long-on where Renshaw was stationed and it looked to go over the boundary ropes, but the allrounder grabbed the catch and used his presence of mind to toss the ball in the air to maintain his balance while running backwards into the boundary.
However, to prevent a six, Renshaw jumped in the air whilst inside the boundary and tapped the ball towards Banton who had ran to his right from deep mid-wicket, who completed the catch.
After numerous replats, Wade was ruled out. “I had no idea of the rule really, once he hit outside the field of play I didn’t know if he was allowed to touch the ball or not,” Wade told match broadcaster Channel 7.
“Umpires said he was, and once they told me he was allowed to (go) outside the field of play and tap it back in, I knew I was out.”
The 2017 update to the laws included a provision for boundaries and “airborne fielders”.
Lord’s, home of the MCC who act as cricket’s rule makers, tweeted that “Under Law 19.5, the catch is deemed lawful.”
The law says: “A boundary will also be given if a fielder in contact with the ball makes contact with any object grounded beyond the boundary, including another fielder.”
The Lord’s tweet explained that “the key moment is when he first touches the ball, which is inside the boundary. He’s airborne for his second contact.”
“Amazing catch,” it said. Wade was also impressed. “It was pretty good work,” he said.
The Hurricanes finished on 126 for 9 and the Heat then passed that target with 10 balls and five wickets to spare.