Sri Lanka batsman Angelo Mathews became the first player to be given “timed out” in the 146-year history of international cricket on Monday in a fiery World Cup clash won by Bangladesh.
Chasing 280 for victory, Bangladesh rode on a 169-run stand between Najmul Hasan Shanto (90) and captain Shakib Al Hasan (82) to reach their target with three wickets and 53 balls to spare.
The result sealed Sri Lanka’s exit from the semi-final race but Mathews’ dismissal overshadowed the result after he was adjudged “timed out” for taking longer than the regulation two minutes to take strike when he arrived at the crease to bat.
The dismissal contributed to a tense atmosphere.
Shanto and Sri Lanka’s Sadeera Samarawickrama were involved in a verbal exchange and had to be separated by the umpires.
Later, Sri Lankan players surrounded the umpires demanding a ball change as the game got away from them.
Mathews had come into bat after the fall of Samarawickrama in the 25th over but was unable to secure his helmet strap tightly enough, an action which delayed the resumption of play.
As a result, Shakib appealed for the wicket.
On-field umpires Marais Erasmus and Richard Illingworth talked to both teams before the decision was upheld.
The 36-year-old Mathews reluctantly trudged off with most spectators appearing bemused by the decision.
Shakib was later voted Man of the Match.
“Mathews’ dismissal was not good for the spirit of cricket,” said Sri Lanka century-maker Charith Asalanka.
Former Proteas fast bowler Dale Steyn writing on X, formerly Twitter, said: “Well, that wasn’t cool”.
Ex-India batsman Gautam Gambhir described the episode as “absolutely pathetic”.
According to laws of cricket, after the fall of a wicket or the retirement of a batsman, the incoming player must be ready to receive the ball within two minutes.
The Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians said there have been six instances of “timed out” in first-class cricket.
“There have been no instances recorded in List A or Twenty20 cricket until Mathews,” they wrote on X.
The vastly-experienced Mathews was playing in his 225th ODI on Monday in a career which has yielded 5,900 runs and 122 wickets. He has also played 106 Tests and 78 T20Is.
When Bangladesh batted, Mathews took on Shakib with the ball and got the left-hander to play a loose shot into the air only for Asalanka, who hit 108 in Sri Lanka’s 279 all out, to drop the catch.
Shakib and Shanto took on the bowlers in a 169-run third-wicket partnership before Mathews broke through with his medium-pace and sent back Shakib.
He pointed to his wrist as a send-off.
Mathews also dismissed Shanto to trigger a collapse as Bangladesh lost three more wickets before they reached their target.
Earlier, the left-handed Asalanka hit his second ODI ton to rebuild the Sri Lanka innings after they had slipped to 135-5 following the exit of Mathews.
The match had been given the green light despite smog-choked New Delhi being ranked as the planet’s most polluted major city.
© Agence France-Presse