Cricket Australia’s inconsistent implementation of technology in the WBBL has been put in the spotlight after a bizarre stumping in the Melbourne Stars’ final-over loss to Adelaide.
Both Adelaide and Brisbane flexed their muscle as WBBL heavyweights on Tuesday, as the Strikers survived a tense finish with the Stars and the Heat added to the Sydney Sixers’ woes with a third-straight loss.
But the Strikers’ win was not without controversy, overshadowing their effort to chase down Melbourne’s 6-133 with two balls and four wickets in hand at Junction Oval.
Stars batter Rhys McKenna was given out for 14 when a ball from Megan Schutt thudded into wicketkeeper Bridget Patterson’s pads and rebounded onto the stumps.
McKenna was clearly in her ground at the time the ball hit the stumps, before the right-hander briefly took off for a run afterwards.
Despite this McKenna was given out stumped by the square-leg umpire.
The WBBL introduced third umpires and the decision review system last season for the first time. However, it is only in place for the 24 matches televised on free-to-air.
Tuesday afternoon’s match was a streamed fixture and therefore had no video technology in place, despite replays clearly showing McKenna should not have been out.
Big Bash officials currently have plans in place for an addition 10 games to have video technology in place next year, with the goal to increasing that number further in the future.
But at the moment there is a feeling the streamed broadcast is not reliable enough for the use of third umpires.
McKenna’s wicket came at a crucial time with the score at 4-91 in the 15th over, after she had hit 14 off five balls and threatened to rebuild the Stars’ innings from an early collapse.
English allrounder Alice Capsey was out stumped in similar fashion off Patterson’s pads for 25 in the over previous to McKenna’s dismissal, only this time she was out of the crease.
Maia Bouchier also helped keep the Stars’ innings together with 48, before being bowled by Schutt (2-27) for 48 in the 19th over.
In reply, Katie Mack hit 48 from 39 for Adelaide before the Strikers survived a late wobble to take their second victory over the Stars in five days.
The Heat then kept their perfect start to the season with a third-straight win in the later match, beating the Sixers by three wickets at North Sydney Oval.
The Sixers’ season is now in serious trouble, going 0-3 to start the year after earlier defeats to the Stars and Sydney Thunder in the past week.
Ellyse Perry crunched 49 off 30 for the Magenta and looked in good touch, while Chloe Tryon struck 42 from 33.
But they were the only two to get going as the Sixers were restricted to 8-146 batting first.
Grace Harris whacked 39 from 19 and Georgia Voll also hit 39 before some lusty blows from Jess Jonassen (27 off 19) helped get the Heat home with an over to spare.