New Zealand Test opener Tom Blundell has created an embarrassing record in the ongoing Plunket Shield 2020-21. During a match between Wellington and Otago, Blundellwas given out obstructing the field.
Facing a delivery from Otago’s Jacob Duffy at the Basin Reserve, Blundell defended the ball, but it rolled back towards the stumps. The batsman used his foot to keep the ball away from the wickets, which is allowed under the Laws of Cricket, but then he stuck out his hand to deflect the red leather away, which is illegal.
Ideally, Blundell would have been given out handling the ball, but the rule was removed as a mode of dismissal three years ago. ‘Handling the ball’ was incorporated into obstructing the field rule in 2017.
Here is the video:
— #NZIII (@MargotButcher) November 8, 2020
63 occasions when batsmen got out in the same manner in first-class cricket
Overall, there had been 63 occurrences in first-class cricket when a batsman has been dismissed ‘handling the ball’. However, because of the change of rules in 2017, Blundell’s dismissal went into the ‘obstructing the field’ category, of which there had been only 25 previous instances and just two in New Zealand’s first-class history. The last one was John Hayes from Canterbury, who got out in the same manner in the 1954-55 season.
In the match, Blundell scored 101 in the second innings and 31 in the first innings. His side lost to Otago by 84 runs. When it comes to the points table, both Otago and Wellington are the bottom two teams.