Sri Lanka batsman Danushka Gunathilaka was at the receiving end of one of the rarest forms of dismissals on the field of cricket. The incident happened during the first ODI between West Indies and Sri Lanka at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Wednesday.
The big debate – Out or Not out?
Batting first, Sri Lanka were looking set to post a big total with the score reading 112/1 in 21 overs. After the dismissal of skipper Dimuth Karunaratne on 52, the onus was on a well-set Danushka Gunathilaka to play a big knock. The left-handed batsman had played some delightful shots to complete his half-century. However, he would not have imagined in his wildest of dreams about the way his classy innings was bound to end.
As Kieron Pollard bowled a slower one on the first ball of 22nd over, Gunathilaka defended it and took a few steps to sneak a single. He quickly realised that the run was not on and sent his partner Pathum Nissanka back. Pollard came racing towards the ball as Gunathilaka attempted to go back to the crease. However, the Sri Lanka batsman deflected the ball away from Pollard’s reach in the process. The West Indies players appealed and after the 3rd umpire adjudged the act as ‘obstructing the field’ and gave it out.
Watch the incident here:
It was too close to his 👟 he couldn’t avoid it
Nowhere it looked like it was intentional,moreover he aint in d middle of d pitch,one foot away from d crease
Poor decision by d on field umpires to give it out,even poorer One from d 3rd umpire to not overturn pic.twitter.com/PjfjlwDkwa
— AlreadyGotBanned 😄 (@KirketVideoss) March 10, 2021
After seeing the replays, it looked like it was an unintentional act by Gunathilaka. He was clearly shocked by the umpire’s decision and made a slow walk back to the pavilion. Sri Lanka’s coach Mickey Arthur was also visibly angry by the decision as he was seen running towards the match officials to discuss about the incident.
The incident became the turning point of the match as the visitors completely lost the plot after that dismissal. Sri Lanka were bundled out on 232 as West Indies won the match comfortably by 8 wickets to go 1-0 up in the 3-match series.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the unusual dismissal:
Don’t think that was willful at all. I wouldn’t appeal but hey 🤷🏿♂️🤷🏿♂️
— Daren Sammy (@darensammy88) March 10, 2021
— Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) March 10, 2021
A) Gunathilaka was NOT OUT.
B) EXPECTED from Pollard.
C) Terrible decision by the umpire.
D) End of Story. #WIvsSL
— Sritama Panda (@cricketpanda_) March 10, 2021
On that Danushka Gunathilaka Obstructing the Field decision; would it have been a different outcome had there been neutral umpires. Usually third umpire and one of the on-field umpires are neutral. Sri Lankan management have expressed their dissatisfaction with match officials.
— Rex Clementine (@RexClementine) March 11, 2021
However, it looked like both the teams got over the incident after the match. Pollard was seen shaking hands with Mickey Arthur and Danushka Gunathilaka as things seemed to have certainly cooled down.
— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) March 10, 2021
The 2nd ODI between West Indies and Sri Lanka will be played on March 12, Friday.