SL vs AFG: Wanindu Hasaranga expresses frustration as umpire Lyndon Hannibal overlooks a crucial no-ball in the Dambulla T20I

Sri Lanka‘s newly appointed T20I captain, Wanindu Hasaranga, expressed his frustration and disappointment following a controversial non-no-ball call made by umpire Lyndon Hannibal during the third T20I against Afghanistan at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium in Dambulla on Wednesday (February 21).

Dramatic turn in the last over in 3rd T20I

Despite having already secured the T20I series, Sri Lanka faced a challenging chase, requiring 210 runs to win. With 19 needed off the last over, Sri Lanka appeared poised for victory as Kamindu Mendis struck two fours in the first three balls. However, the turning point came on the fourth delivery when a high full toss by Wafadar Momand above the waist height of Mendis was deemed legal by Hannibal, who was positioned at square leg.

Umpiring controversy shadows Sri Lanka’s finish

Mendis, despite his request for a review, couldn’t avail it due to the latest ICC playing conditions, which restrict reviews for anything other than potential dismissals. Although Mendis was outside his crease, his crouched position suggested that the ball would have still cleared his waist even if played from the crease. The subsequent delivery was called a wide, leaving Sri Lanka needing 10 off the last two balls. Nevertheless, a dot on the penultimate delivery and a last-ball six reduced the margin of defeat as Sri Lanka finished three runs short at 206/6.

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Wanindu Hasaranga voices frustration against Umpire

Hasaranga, visibly upset by Hannibal’s decision, criticized the umpiring error, emphasizing that such mistakes should not happen at the international level. Additionally, Hasaranga expressed dissatisfaction with the review system, suggesting that the third umpire should be able to check all types of no-balls, not just the front-foot ones.

“That kind of thing shouldn’t happen in an international match. If it had been close [to waist height], that’s not a problem. But a ball that’s going so high… it would have hit the batsman’s head if it had gone a little higher. If you can’t see that, that umpire isn’t suited to international cricket. It would be much better if he did another job,” Hasaranga said.

“There was a situation where you could review those calls before, but the ICC has got rid of that. Our batsmen tried to review that. If the third umpire is able to check the front-foot no-ball, he should check this kind of no-ball as well. There’s no reason why they can’t. They didn’t do even that, so I’m not sure what was going on in his (the square-leg umpire’s) mind at the time,” the 26-year-old concluded.

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