Mitchell Santner’s gesture over a boundary wins cricket lovers’ hearts
Though it did not matter much for New Zealand at the end, Santner’s gesture was applauded.
Published - Feb 6, 2019 7:53 pm | Updated - Feb 6, 2019 7:53 pm
If there was a fair-play award in cricket for all the year, New Zealand will be right at the top to claim it. On Wednesday, Black Caps’ left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner reiterated it once again during fielding against India in the first T20I at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington. The hosts won the game by 80 runs, making India taste their biggest defeat in T20Is.
It was the first delivery of the 17th over with MS Dhoni on the strike, looking to accomplish a miraculous feat of scoring 102 runs in just 24 balls. The visitors were already six down and the game was more or less concluded. However, the Kiwis did not loosen things on the ground as the same was proved by Santner’s brilliant effort.
Tim Southee bowled the delivery short of a length and Dhoni pulled it away by skipping down the track but did not quite middle it. Lockie Ferguson from deep square leg overran the ball but Santner appeared like the last line of defense sprinting from deep mid-wicket and gave a dive to stop the ball from reaching the ropes but his right hand touched the boundary.
Santner sought third umpire intervention over his effort
When the on-field umpire asked if he had picked the ball clean, Santner said he wasn’t sure and advised to check it with the third umpire before confirming the verdict. The replays confirmed that the fielder’s hand had indeed touched the ropes and India were awarded four runs. Though it did not matter much for New Zealand at the end, Santner’s gesture was applauded.
India, who are yet to win a T20I on New Zealand soil, could manage only 139 runs in reply to New Zealand’s 219 in 20 overs, conceding a 0-1 lead in the three-match series. Though ranked higher than the Kiwis in ICC’s T20I list, India have found them a tougher opponent in the T20Is, winning only two games so far while losing seven.