The no-ball that stranded sehwag
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August 16, 2010 provided a bit of theatre in the ODI day-night 50 overs match between India and Sri Lanka at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium in Sri Lanka.

The triseries between Sri Lanka, New Zealand and India was on. In the third ODI Sri Lanka won the toss and selected to bat first. Sri Lanka were all out for 170 runs in 46.1 overs.

TM Dilshan hit out 45 and Suraj Randiv smashing 43. Randiv was to be involved in an act of gamesmanship as the Indian innings was to end. In reply, India reached its target of 171 for the loss of 4 wickets in 34.3 overs.

Thus India won this tussle by 6 wickets and with 93 balls still remaining. While India won this match there was drama when India reached 170 for 4 needing just 1 run to win. 34 overs had been bowled by Sri Lanka.

Suraj Randiv had already completed his 7 overs Kumara Sangakarra handed over to Randiv the ball to bowl possibly the last over of the match. After bowling two deliveries, India had tied the score on 170 with Virendra Schwag as the striker.

Sehwag was on 99 having struck it off in 100 deliveries. In the meantime, Randiv had conceded 38 runs and he had been without a wicket. His third delivery was calculated and from his standpoint well thought out. He bowled a noball by overstepping the popping crease by more than a foot.

Normally a foot fault with the front foot going over the line would be an inch or two. Randiv’s foot-fault was enormous thereby establishing beyond much conjecturing that the no-ball on the bowler’s part was deliberate.

Sehwag clouted the no ball for a 6 but was left stranded on 99 not out. Since it was a no ball signaled and called by the bowler’s end umpire, what came first eventually before the 6 was to be recorded in the score-card.

Asad Rauf and REJ Martinez had a tete-a-tete in the middle and declared that the six runs whacked by Sehwag would not be considered or counted in recording his century as the run accruing from the no-ball brought about the result of the match.

Law 21.6 is explicitly laid down. As soon as a result is reached, the match is at an end. Nothing that happens thereafter, except as in law 42.17(b) – concerning penalty runs- shall be regarded as part of it. With regard to the No-ball, law 24.12 states: A penalty of one run shall be awarded instantly on the call of a no ball.

In the afore mentioned situation the bowler’s end umpire just indicated and signaled the no-ball. There was no signal of a 6. Had Sri Lanka’s score been 178 all out the no-ball of Randiv and the 6 from Sehwag would have taken the score of India to 177 with the individual score of Sehwag to 105 not out, thereby the batsman would have technically got a century with the bowler still to complete the over.

Sehwag said later in a post match press conference that such a ploy was also employed by Sri Lanka when Sachin Tendulkar had a similar fate of being stranded on 96 in Cuttack. Sehwag’s incident could have resulted in souring of the cricketing relations between the two countries.

However sanity prevailed and the matter put under wraps. The patch-up was initiated by Nishantha Ranatunga, the Sri Lanka Cricket Secretary, who called Ranjit Biswal, the Manager of the Indian cricket team, to render an apology for the unbecoming conduct of Randiv.

Biswal stated later that Ranatunga had asked him to convey the Sri Lanka Cricket Board’s regret over the incident to the Indian team and particularly to Sehwag. Biswal said, “Everything had happened in the heat of the moment and now that Sri Lanka had apologized, it was time to move on.

” The Twitter from Sehwag: “Hi, Guys! Randiv came to my room to apologise,” brought about a soothing effect. Sangakkara, the Sri Lanka captain said, “if you go by the rules, it’s very much lawful. There is no violation of cricket rules.

But when it comes to the spirit of cricket one feels slighted about these things. We should put an end to this episode.” Ranatunga summed it all up, “We are upset about the incident and we are unhappy. Sri Lankan Cricketers have won the ICC ‘spirit of the game’ award thrice”.

He was conveying the irony behind Randiv’s act. THERE CERTAINLY IS, NEED TO SUSTAIN THE PREMBLE OF CRICKET. Dr K. S. Gupta has played for Tanzania as a wicket keeper and opening batsman. He is also a former internal cricket umpire.

  • Email: “mailto:kgupta52@ hotmail.com”kgupta52@hotmail. com
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