Sehwag's century-stroke 'no-balled'

Sehwag's century-stroke 'no-balled'

Sehwag loves reaching milestones with a six. He has done it in the past even in Tests. On Monday, in India’s second match in the tri-nation tournament, the Indian vice-captain slammed Suraj Randiv over long-off for a massive six to move from 99 to 105 and, simultaneously, bring up India’s victory. Or so he thought.

India required one for victory at that stage when off-spinner Randiv, incredulously, overstepped by at least a foot. The rules state that in such an instance, since the single off the no-ball has already signalled the end of the match, the runs scored by the batsman do not count. Unaware of the rule, Sehwag threw his hands up to celebrate both an individual accomplishment and a team triumph.

Once he was made aware of the rule and that he had finished 99 not out, his joy dimmed only slightly, though he made his displeasure at what he felt were deliberate Sri Lankan tactics to deny him his 13th hundred all too obvious.

“He should have shown sportsman spirit,” Sehwag said later, mincing no words. “If a player is batting on 99, it does not mean that you bowl a no-ball, give away four byes. That has no place in good cricket.”

The byes he was referring to had come off the first delivery of that same over, which India began needing five for victory. The no-ball and the subsequent denial of the century took some shine off India’s thumping six-wicket victory as they dramatically overturned their 200-run drubbing in the opening match against New Zealand.

‘Deliberate act’
Sehwag was convinced the no-ball was a deliberate act. “Why should I look at the video for reconfirmation,” he asked. “It was done deliberately, because of the size of the no-ball. Till now in Test matches, he (Randiv) hasn’t bowled a no-ball. He hasn’t bowled no-balls in one-day cricket, then why did he bowl a no-ball only when I was on 99? And it was not a small no-ball, he didn’t overstep by a small margin.”

Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara, a staunch advocate of playing cricket in the right spirit, looked a little perplexed by the turn of events. “I hope it’s not deliberate,” Sangakkara said.

“That’s not the way I would like to play cricket. If that was intentional, then I have to find out about that, it has got no place on the field of cricket,” he added.

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