In a tempestuous World Cup clash that concluded with Bangladesh securing victory and extinguishing Sri Lanka’s semi-final aspirations, the highlight was a historic “timed out” dismissal of Sri Lankan batsman Angelo Mathews, a first in the illustrious 146-year history of international cricket.
The fiery contest unfolded with Bangladesh embarking on a challenging pursuit of 280 runs for victory. Their journey was steered by a magnificent 169-run partnership between Najmul Hasan Shanto, who contributed a commanding 90, and the skipper, Shakib Al Hasan, who scored a resolute 82. Their remarkable performance ensured that Bangladesh reached their target with three wickets to spare, accompanied by 53 balls left to play.
However, the outcome that sealed Sri Lanka’s exit from the race for a semi-final berth was overshadowed by Angelo Mathews’ unusual dismissal. He was adjudged “timed out” for exceeding the prescribed two-minute limit to take strike upon his arrival at the crease.
Mathews’ dismissal triggered an escalation in the game’s already tense atmosphere. Verbal exchanges between Shanto and Sri Lanka’s Sadeera Samarawickrama necessitated the intervention of the umpires to separate the agitated players. Subsequently, Sri Lankan players approached the umpires, demanding a ball change as the game appeared to be slipping away from them.
Mathews had taken guard after the fall of Samarawickrama’s wicket in the 25th over but was delayed by a loose helmet strap, prompting Shakib’s appeal for the dismissal.
The on-field umpires, Marais Erasmus and Richard Illingworth, engaged both teams in discussions before ultimately upholding the decision. A somewhat reluctant Mathews departed the field, leaving many spectators perplexed by the ruling.
Shakib Al Hasan was later named the “Man of the Match” for his pivotal role in Bangladesh’s victory. Nonetheless, Mathews’ dismissal stirred a wave of criticism and dismay. Sri Lankan century-maker Charith Asalanka remarked, “Mathews’ dismissal was not conducive to the spirit of cricket.”
Dale Steyn, the former South African fast bowler, took to social media to express his disapproval, stating, “Well, that wasn’t cool.”
Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir described the episode as “absolutely pathetic.”
In accordance with the laws of cricket, a batsman must be ready to receive the ball within two minutes after a wicket falls or a batsman retires.
The Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians confirmed that there have been six instances of “timed out” in first-class cricket. Notably, there had been no documented occurrences of this ruling in List A or Twenty20 cricket until Angelo Mathews’ unique dismissal.
Angelo Mathews, a stalwart in international cricket, was participating in his 225th One Day International (ODI) match. Throughout his illustrious career, he has amassed 5,900 runs and taken 122 wickets. He also boasts 106 Test matches and 78 Twenty20 internationals.
Angelo Mathews also played a pivotal role with the ball in the game, with his medium-pace bowling, and managed to induce a loose shot from Shakib, which was, regrettably, spilled by Asalanka, who had earlier contributed a remarkable 108 runs to Sri Lanka’s total of 279 all out.
Bangladesh’s pursuit of victory saw Mathews making a crucial impact by dismissing Shakib and Shanto, leading to a subsequent collapse that tested Bangladesh’s resilience before reaching the target.
The match, despite taking place in the smog-choked atmosphere of New Delhi, was deemed fit for play, even as the city retained its unenviable title as the planet’s most polluted major urban center.
As the cricketing world reflects on this historic “timed out” episode, the pursuit of victory and the spirit of cricket continue to stand as enduring themes on the World Cup stage.
Stay tuned for further developments and more riveting encounters in the World Cup.