The weird and freakish virtual world of The Quarantine Cup ends Mason Crane’s perfect start in the competition. On Sunday, Mason’s Black Swan event, combining poor fielding, weird decisions and freakish acts broke his Hampshire team.
Playing George Hankins Gloucestershire, Mason invited the visitors to bat first.
From the very start Hampshire were on the back front. 16 runs were plundered from the first over. Hankins controlling his batters with skill and confidence.
Gloucestershire were helped by the Hampshire fielding. On three occasions they dropped regulation catches. Hampshire, it seemed were attempting to catch a bar of soggy soap.
The home supporters must be commended. Never once during this woeful fielding display was a virtual word of criticism heard.
Batting out their allotted 5 overs, Gloucestershire made 62.
With 63 needed to win, Mason must have been quietly confident. Let’s not forget, in the previous game his team had made 61.
Yet the omens were not good.
Captain James Vince played and missed, a choir of Gloucestershire players appealed.
The decision was taken upstairs. All the evidence pointed to a not out decision. Yet, the unnamed third umpire, made one of the weirdest calls in a cricket sim match
The decision was out.
Next followed an act that will rewrite the laws of physics. Those watching saw this freakish scientific discovery with their own eyes.
Rilee Rossouw smartly clipped the ball behind leg. The ball’s forward locomotion propelling it through the air towards the boundary.
What happened next might have been divine intervention or a freak of nature, other than the game’s programmer, who knows?
But the evidence was clear, the ball’s forward motion went into reverse and its trajectory was now backwards. Gravitational pull started to draw the white sphere towards the welcoming wicket-keeper’s gloves. The catch was completed. Rossouw left the field nonplussed, or would have, if his virtual self had grasped the freakishness of the moment.
Once mastered by wicket-keepers, this reverse trajectory in the white ball game must be looked at by the authorities.
While Mason’s Hampshire side attempted to get back into the match, their resolve was broken. The scorebook reads they were all out for 23.
It can only be hoped that the black swan event marring this match does not encourage tin-foil hat conspiracies that damage the good name of cricket.
(PhoenixMedia Image Created from a Photo by Andy Kearns/Getty Images and with Permission from The Cricketer)