Brisbane Heat’s BBL ‘wrong batter’ controversy stuns cricket world, Marnus Labuschagne and Sam Billings

The Brisbane Heat have secured a home qualifying final after pulling off a 23-run win in the top of the table clash against the Perth Scorchers.

A win for the Scorchers would have taken the result down to the final fixtures but the unbeaten Heat’s dominant season has continued against the perennial powerhouse from Perth.

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But a bizarre scene in Heat’s batting innings had commentators and fans alike scratching their heads when Marnus Labuschagne and Sam Billings went to the wrong ends after the 10 over break.

After losing the early wickets of Usman Khawaja and Colin Munro, Labuschagne set about rescuing the innings.

The loss of Matthew Renshaw at the end of the ninth over left new batter Billings yet to face a ball at the halfway mark of the innings after Labuschagne faced the entire 10th over, before hitting a single off the last ball.

It should mean that Labuschagne retained the strike, but that’s not how it turned out on field with Billings facing up for the first ball of the 11th over.

After getting off the mark with a single, Labuschagne then guided the ball off Lance Morris straight through to wicketkeeper Josh Inglis.

But it didn’t escape fans that Labuschagne should have faced the first ball, which Billings bunted with soft hands to point.

Mark Howard and the Fox Cricket commentary team immediately jumped on the issue.

“I think it may be a controversial dismissal when the videotape’s looked back at Gilly,” Howard said.

Adam Gilchrist replied: “Yeah, what we think, Marnus with the second ball of the Morris over, previous delivery Billings scored a single, the last ball of the over prior to that Marnus scored a single.

“So Marnus should have been on strike for the first ball of the over. It’s what we can recollect.

“Clearly it’s not going to hold up the game now, they’re just going to move on.

“So Marnus scored a single off the last ball of the 10th over. They had drinks and came back out. Sam Billings faced the next ball when Marnus should have been facing. He gets a single and Marnus is out next ball.

“Extraordinary events.”

Aaron Finch added that the Heat had gone likely a batter light with Michael Neser batting at No. 7.

Gilchrist said ultimately it wouldn’t change the scorebook and that Labuschagne was out.

But while Finch believed the Heat went in a batter short, Neser saved the day for the Heat who were 5/91 when he came to the crease.

A 30-ball 64 not out including seven fours and three sixes along with a cameo of 37 off 21 from Billings got the Heat to 6/191 from their 20 overs.

The bizarre scenes didn’t escape social media however.

One fan asked: “How does this happen?” while another called it “poor stuff”.

Coming a week after a third umpire hit the wrong button on a DRS call, another fan said: “Just BBL things”.

Another incredulously asked: “Wrong batter started that over on strike?” while a simple “Far out” spoke for a lot of fans online.

Despite the confusion, Neser continued to star with ball in hand, taking 2/31 from his four overs as well as a diving catch to dismiss Inglis and put a near fatal dent in the Scorchers’ chase.

A quickfire 29-ball 51 from master blaster Laurie Evans threatened to get Perth back in the game but with partners dropping at the other end, it was a bridge too far as the Scorchers fell 23-runs short.

Read related topics:BrisbanePerth

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