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Watch: Sri Lanka’s Danushka Gunathilaka given out obstructing the ball, Twitter disagrees with decision

A video grab of the incident featuring Danushka Gunathilaka.
A video grab of the incident featuring Danushka Gunathilaka.
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Renin Wilben Albert

The first ODI of the series between West Indies and Sri Lanka in Antigua was embroiled in controversy after Sri Lanka opener Danushka Gunathilaka was given out for obstructing the field.

The incident occurred during the first ball of the 22nd over after Sri Lanka decided to bat first after winning the toss.

A length ball from West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard was played by Danushka Gunathilaka and the delivery ended up dropping near his feet. At the other end, Pathum Nissanka came charging through, looking for a single.

Danushka Gunathilaka, however, refused the run. While looking to get back to his crease, the batsman’s feet came in contact with the ball, and it moved back towards the crease along with him just as Pollard was rushing in for a run-out.

As per the replays, it looked like Danushka Gunathilaka was looking to get away from the ball, but could not balance himself to control his actions.

The on-field umpire referred the decision to the third umpire, who ruled the batsman out due to obstruction of the field. Danushka Gunathilaka was sent back to the stands for a well compiled 55 from 61 balls.

According to ICC rules, the batsman can be given out obstructing the field if he/she willfully attempts to obstruct or distract the fielding side by words or action. The law adds that a batsman cannot be considered to be “obstructing the field” if the obstruction or distraction is accidental or in order to avoid injury.

Twitter rules Danushka Gunathilaka ‘not out’

Even as the third umpire decided to adjudicate Danushka Gunathilaka out, most fans on Twitter believe that the Sri Lankan batsman should not have lost his wicket. According to many, Danushka Gunathilaka’s actions were clearly not intentional. Here are some Twitter reactions:

There were a few, though, who did feel that the right decision was made.

Sri Lanka were 230 for 9 in the 49th over. Apart from Danushka Gunathilaka, skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and Ashen Bandara also hit half-centuries. However, the rest of the batting order crumbled at the end of the innings.


Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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