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Obstructing the field drama erupts as Sheffield Shield features latest 'spirit of cricket' incident

5th February, 2024
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5th February, 2024
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Western Australia were denied what looked to be a fair wicket at a crucial stage on day two of their Sheffield Shield clash with NSW when all-rounder Chris Green was given not out despite blocking a throw at the stumps when out of his ground.

With Green and captain Moises Henriques in the midst of a 41-run partnership for the eighth wicket which has the Blues within reach of first-innings points overnight, the all-rounder defended a ball from seamer Charlie Stobo back down the wicket.

Stobo had a ping at the stumps which was on target and Green, who was clearly out of his crease, blocked the ball away rather than evade the throw or get back behind the crease.

Green was on 11 at the time and NSW were 6-227 and the umpires eventually ruled that he was not out. WA keeper Sam Whiteman asked why Gren was not given out after his appeal fell on deaf ears.

Under the Laws of Cricket, “The striker is out Obstructing the field if, except in the circumstances of 37.2, in the act of receiving a ball delivered by the bowler, he/she wilfully strikes the ball with a hand not holding the bat. This will apply whether it is the first strike or a second or subsequent strike. The act of receiving the ball shall extend both to playing at the ball and to striking the ball more than once in defence of his/her wicket.”

However, a batter will be deemed not out if the obstruction was to avoid injury or if they are in their crease.

Green made it to stumps to be 17 not out with Jackson Bird (11) trying to put the Blues into the lead. They are 7-244, trailing WA by just 12 after bowling the hosts out for 256 on Saturday.

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The Blues’ tail, however, collapsed for 4/21, leaving the West Aussies five in front at the turn, with the chance to pile on the runs.

Henriques played one of his finest Sheffield Shield knocks to put the Blues in with a chance.

He was dismissed for 95 late on day two, soon after the Green controversy, at the WACA Ground to fall just short of his 14th first-class century.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 04: Charlie Stobo of Western Australia celebrates after taking the wicket of Moises Henriques of New South Wales during the Sheffield Shield match between Western Australia and New South Wales at WACA, on February 04, 2024, in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)

Charlie Stobo. (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)

The circumstances surrounding his dismissal were also controversial with Henriques unimpressed at being given out to a ball it looked like he did not touch.

NSW started their innings on Sunday but fell into early trouble at 3-30 as quick Joel Paris and spinner Corey Rocchiccioli ran through the Blues’ top-order.

But Henriques was able to dig in, forming important partnerships with Ollie Davies (21) and in-form allrounder Jack Edwards (34).

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Paris was the pick of WA’s bowlers with 3-45 from 22 overs, while Rocchiccioli sent down 32 overs in a day for 3-96.

WA, who have won the last two Shield finals, sit second after winning three games before the break for the BBL.

NSW are trying to claim an unlikely double against WA this season.

In November, the Blues snapped their longest winless Shield run when they upset WA at the SCG to secure their first victory in 21 months.

NSW added another victory to their tally after that, downing ladder-leaders Tasmania to regain confidence.

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