It was two double-bounce incidents in the span of six hours as after the bizarre Ashleigh Gardner ‘non-dismissal’ in the Women’s WT20 match, Dale Steyn and Steve Smith had a moment of their own. Smith swatted a botched Steyn delivery for a boundary, only for the umpire to rule it a dead ball.
It is funny how true the ‘one brings two’ statement sometimes can be. It does not necessarily always have to be attributed to wickets. In fact, it can even be in sync with the most bizarre of incidents. Only a few weeks ago, there was a weird hit-wicket incident involving Steve Smith where the wind blew the bails off, and moments later, the exact same thing happened in New Zealand when the Kiwis took on India. Friday was one such day and at the crux was the phenomenon of ‘double-bounce’.
After an bizarre incident in the Women’s World T20 match between India Women and Australia Women, where Poonam Yadav cleaned up Ashleigh Gardner but it was ruled no-ball owing to the ball pitching twice before reaching the popping crease, there was yet another bizarre incident of the same mould six hours later, in the game between South Africa and Australia.
The incident occurred on the fifth ball of the third over of the Australian innings, with Smith still very new to the crease, batting on 8 off 6 balls. As Steyn charged in to deliver the ball, the white cherry, as he was in motion to complete his bowling action, slipped out of the South African’s hand. Due to the abrupt release, all momentum had been sucked out of the ball and the ball slowly rolled towards the middle of the pitch, bouncing twice. As if this wasn’t bizarre enough, the batsman Steve Smith made it even more grotesque.
As the ball slowly approached the middle of the pitch, Smith, knowing there was no pace on the ball, charged towards it and swatted it over the head of the mid-on fielder for a boundary. Perhaps, he did it with the intention of getting four easy runs, but the on-field umpire quickly intervened and called the delivery a ‘dead-ball’, owing to it getting released from Steyn’s hand even before he completed his bowling action; basically, due to the ball slipping out of his bowler’s hand. The ‘golf swat’ from Smith clearly did not impress the South African crowd, who booed Smith for his actions, but the Australian just responded with a cheeky, quirky smile to acknowledge it. Friday was a day of double-bounces, indeed.
This is what happened!
— dilse FAN (@iemSRKian) February 21, 2020
Steve Smith doesn’t care!
Crowd booing Steve Smith for whacking that dead ball for a boundary..#SAvAUS
— Subhayan Chakraborty (@CricSubhayan) February 21, 2020
They still remember!
— Mpho “Your Friendly Sports Guy” (@MphoMoreki) February 21, 2020
— Cricket Aficionado 🇦🇺🌏🌏 (@Tafe25) February 22, 2020
But that didn’t bother Steve Smith!
Steve Smith is the top scorer between both teams 😁🤩 Super proud of my Smudge ❤️#SAvAUS
— Jennifer (@SugarGenius123) February 21, 2020
Include all the South African fans too!
— Sharanya Dutta (@notdragorg) February 21, 2020
SA wasn’t ready!
— CricBlog (@cric_blog) February 21, 2020
Steve Smith’s white ball stats don’t do justice to his talent. He’s still one of the best player across all format & already a legend in the longer format of the game.#SAvAUS
— Waѕiyullah Budye (@WasiyullahB) February 22, 2020