There were bizarre scenes in the WBBL|08 season opener between the Sydney Sixers and Brisbane Heat in Mackay on Thursday night when an underwhelming wicket celebration led to complete confusion.
Batting first, the Heat made a strong start as opener Georgia Redmayne looked in fine form before being dismissed one run short of a half century (49).
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Sixers start WBBL season with Heat win | 02:05
Georgia Voll (32 off 39 balls) was also solid at the top of the order and quickfire knocks from Amelia Kerr (19 off 15) and Charli Knott (21 not out off 9) ensured the Heat posted a competitive total of 141 off 20 overs.
The Sixers were rushing through their overs late in the innings to avoid being penalised for a slow over rate, but their good intention backfired in unusual fashion.
Brisbane’s Mikayla Hinkley slapped a full toss from Maitlan Brown straight to Ellyse Perry, who took a straightforward catch at cover.
But such was the ease of the dismissal and rush to get through the over, Perry didn’t even celebrate.
It meant the umpire didn’t give Hinkley out and the Heat batter was looking around in confusion as she prepared to make her way back to the pavilion.
The decision was sent to the third umpire, who sure enough found Hinkley had indeed been caught by Perry.
But the delay ironically meant the Sixers’ hopes of speeding through Brown’s over didn’t eventuate, although they weren’t penalised for a slow over rate.
Former Australian captain Lisa Sthalekar said on Channel 7: “The issue is the umpires weren’t sure. Because the Sixers are behind time, they’re just trying to rush through.
Jason Richardson added: “Because they’re behind time, they quickly took the catch and got back to their mark. Mikayla Hinkley went to walk off and went, ‘Hang on’.
Sixers wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy later explained the confusion was because the umpire didn’t see if Perry had taken the catch when she rolled over onto her side on the follow through.
“Nah apparently it wasn’t that,” Healy said when asked if the confusion was because the Sixers didn’t appeal for the catch.
“She (the umpire) was unsighted when Pez rolled, so she wasn’t sure she claimed it. But we made sure we appeal, just in case.”
Perry also starred with the bat, hitting 55 from 48 to add to her impressive 2/27 from four overs with the ball.
She built a wonderful 93-run partnership with Erin Burns, who scored 50 from 37 balls.
When the duo departed late in the innings, it went down to the wire.
Then Maitlan Brown entered. Needing five runs off the last two balls of the innings, Brown charged down the pitch and slogged her first ball for a six.
“I don’t know what I was thinking,” Brown said. “I was coming down the pitch before she even released it…and it paid off.”
Brown, who has been on two tours with the national team without making her Australian debut, also finished with the exceptional bowling figures of 3-20.