WATCH : Poor decision by Third Umpire in WPL Eliminator

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With a spot in the final against Delhi Capitals at stake, the Mumbai Indians took control of the game early on in their innings against UP Warriorz at the Dr DY Patil Sports Academy. Opener Yastika Bhatia laid a solid foundation with her 18-ball 21, while Hayley Matthews kept the scoreboard ticking from the other end, leading the side to 46/1 at the end of the powerplay.

Despite having a reputation as a destructive batter capable of dismantling any opposition, the West Indian seemed to have settled in and looked increasingly comfortable before throwing away her wicket in the ninth over. However, she was saved from embarrassment by the third umpire.

The cunning Deepti Sharma took charge of the ball and, aware that the batter needed to pick up the pace, enticed her to play a big shot towards the legside, where a fielder was positioned. Matthews failed to connect well with the ball, and although fielder Anjali Sarvani was stationed deeper along the boundary ropes, she had to sprint to complete the catch.

The Indian pacer rose to the challenge and made a last-minute lunge to grab the ball a few inches off the ground. An ecstatic Sarvani raised her finger in triumph as her elated teammates gathered around her. However, the umpire decided to confirm whether the catch was taken cleanly.

Real-time footage and the typical slow-motion replays indicated that there was a visible gap between Sarvani’s hands and the surface, giving the visitors hope. However, the third umpire took a closer look and scrutinized extremely zoomed-up images of the incident, which showed that the fielder may have slightly brushed her fingers against the grass.

https://twitter.com/WMaharastra/status/1639278095940165632

Despite safely clutching the ball in her hands with three fingers under it, the lack of conclusive evidence left the umpire to make a decision based on the extremely blurred images before him, declaring the batter not out. This decision caused frustration for UP.

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