Michael Neser grabbed a sensational catch during the high scoring Big Bash League encounter between Brisbane Heat and Sydney Sixers, which the former won by 15 runs. Neser’s match-turning effort came in the penultimate over of the Sixers’ gigantic 225-run chase as Jordan Silk was dismissed for 41 off 24 deliveries.
Silk was going strong in the middle and had already hit three 4s and two 6s. The catch if not taken would have resulted in another maximum, but Neser’s smart thinking brought an end to Silk’s sublime display in the middle.
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Neser, positioned at deep, caught the ball well inside the boundary rope, but upon realising that he would cross the playing area, he tossed the ball up. However, his release saw the ball go a little too much beyond the fence but Neser didn’t stop there. After crossing the fence, Neser once again looped the ball in the air, ensuring none of his parts made any contact with the ground and then completed the catch calmly inside the playing area.
Despite the brilliant piece of fielding, his efforts were questioned by both fans and experts as soon people started consulting the rulebook.
Australia legend Adam Gilchrist, who is part of the Fox Cricket commentary panel, was one of many confused, wondering why was it given out, but later admitted it was well within the rules.
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So what does the rule actually say?
As per the rules laid by Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), Law 19.5.2 states: “A fielder who is not in contact with the ground is considered to be grounded beyond the boundary if his/her final contact with the ground, before his/her first contact with the ball after it has been delivered by the bowler, was not entirely within the boundary.”