Tuesday 27 December 2011

Two unusual stumpings.

This post is a little more anorackish and a little less statistical than my usual posts.

I was enjoying the ability to watch two games at the same time today. I was flicking between the 2nd day of the Australia India test, and the HRV Cup twenty20 match between Central Districts and Wellington.

Wellington were demonstrating their ability to find a way to lose from what looked like a certain winning position, which was making me quite happy, as I had put some money on CD to win. During the game I noticed two interesting dismissals.

Stumping One Cachopa st van Wyk b Nethula

First it was Tarun Nethula who bowled a very effective spell of 1/16 off 4 overs. He bowled a delivery that seemed to drift in quite sharply to an advancing Craig Cachopa. It came off the inside edge, and started rolling towards the crease. Quick as a flash Kruger van Wyk was around the stumps, picked up the ball and took off the bails.

My understanding of the law was that the keeper was not allowed to take the ball in front of the stumps for a stumping. So I assumed that the dismissal would have to be changed to a run out. One of the commentators on TV (Mark Richardson) felt the same.

However I went to my trusty copy of Tom Smith's New Umpiring and Scoring to see what it had to say about this situation. It took a bit of reading, but it turns out that the dismissal was in fact correct and was stumped. The key passage is in law 40 (The Wicket-keeper) section 3:

"The wicket-keeper shall remain wholly behind the wicket at the striker’s end from the moment the ball comes into play until (a) a ball delivered by the bowler either (i) touches the bat or person of the striker or (ii) passes the wicket at the striker’s end or (b) the striker attempts a run."

Clearly once the ball hits the batsman or bat, it is fair game, and van Wyk was completely right to come out from behind the stumps and go for the ball.

Stumping Two Boam st van Wyk b Milne

Harry Boam Wellington's last hope was facing New Zealand's fastest bowler, Adam Milne. Well, he wasn't really Wellington's last hope - the match was long gone, but it sounds more dramatic to imagine that there was something on it. Wellington needed 26 runs off the last 2 deliveries, with the batting powerhouse that is Muttiah Muralitheran at the other end. I've once seen Andre Adams win a game off the last delivery when 11 were needed, but 26 off 2 is a little ridiculous. Still he was on 47 and within sight of a pyrrhic 50. So he came down the pitch and tried to hoist Adam Milne into the Wellington harbour.

This plan would have been more effective if he had made contact with the ball. Instead he got himself tide up in knots and lost all sense of balance and direction. the ball carried through unimpinged to van Wyk who was standing about 20 meters behind the stumps. Van Wyk was alert to the situation and, still gloved, threw down the stumps, leaving Boam short of his ground by about 2 meters. Not only was this a sensational piece of work to throw down the stumps with a glove still on, it created an interesting situation. Was it run out or stumped.

We generally don't think of a stumping off a fast bowler. (To be fair we don't often think of any sort of dismissal off a fast bowler in New Zealand - we are the nation that invented dibbly-dobbly bowling, where 130km/h is considered express pace) Normally that is the domain of spin bowlers or occasionally medium pacers. However the rules do not define who is allowed to take a stumping.

In fact the rules are very clear that if a batsman is not attempting a run, is out of his ground and the ball is "kicked or thrown onto the stumps by the wicket-keeper" then it is to be considered a stumping. Which meant that it was disappointing when the scorers on TV described the dismissal as "Boam run out (van Wyk)."

Fortunately the umpires afterwards communicated with the scorers and Adam Milne got given credit for what is likely to be his only ever stumping in his career (provided he doesn't replicate Shane Thompson and go from being a 150km/h quick bowler to an innocuous spinner - with a nasty bouncer).

I have umpired in two games this year when an opening batsman (same in both matches) was stumped by a keeper standing back to a quick bowler (same bowler-keeper combination both times, once in a 1-day game, once in a 2 day game), but both of these were a case of the batsman taking guard outside his crease, and not being aware enough to step back into his ground. (once is understandable, the second time incurred the wrath of his captain, and he batted at 9 for the second innings). The difference between these two situations is that the games I was umpiring were involving 15 year-old's and not professional cricketers, and both time it wasn't good bowling that drew the batsman out, and got him tangled up, it was just poor awareness.

Kruger van Wyk you have earned yourself the title of Cricketgeek hero of the week, and a like on Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic and correct in my opinion (Paul , Horsted Keynes Sussex UK )