How Matt Renshaw’s spectacular catch was deemed legitimate

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Jan
9

Matt Renshaw pulled off a spectacular, dynamic fielding effort on Thursday that took place beyond the boundary at the Gabba to get rid of Hobart Hurricanes opener Matthew Wade.

Responding to a powerful lofted stroke from Wade, Renshaw ran to his left at wide long-on and caught the ball overhead with reverse-cupped hands a yard inside the rope, but then lost his balance as he skipped over the rope. But Renshaw’s brilliance, as well as presence of mind, were highlighted as he lobbed the ball before he jumped over the ropes and then skipped again to sort of spike the ball back into play for Tom Banton, who completed the catch.

Wade was as dumbstruck and clueless as Ben Cutting, the bowler, when this sequence ended. Neither of them was aware whether it was out or not. Even the third umpire initially ruled not out, but reversed his decision upon studying the replays, and probably, the laws, which were changed first in 2013 and updated in 2017 to encourage fielders to go for such dynamic fielding efforts.

The primary laws applied to determine the fairness of Renshaw’s catch were 19.4 and 19.5, which concern the fielder and the ball being grounded. The key thing for the match officials to determine was if Renshaw’s first contact with the ball was inside the boundary – it was – and whether his feet were not touching the ground beyond the boundary when he lobbed the ball back in for Banton – they weren’t. He came out clean on both counts.

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“I was just worried about where the rope was and trying to keep it in,” Renshaw told the host broadcaster, describing the catch. “They always say play to the whistle in warm-up games. I made sure I played the whistle. I was trying to pass it to myself and luckily my twin Bants [Tom Banton] was over there ready to catch it as well. Just tried to play the whistle and keep the ball up and made sure I was in the air. But there was a fair bit of luck I reckon.”

“Pretty good,” was how Wade marked Renshaw’s brilliance. “I had no idea of the rule really – once he hit outside the field of play I didn’t know if he was allowed to touch the ball or not,” Wade told the host broadcaster. “Umpires said he was, and once they told me he was allowed to (go) outside the field of play and tap it back in, I knew I was out. It was pretty good work – I’m not sure he would’ve been able to have done that a few years ago, Renshaw.”

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