Chasing 180 for victory last night, an in-form Alex Ross was mounting a late charge when confusingly being given out for obstructing the field.
Ross diverted his line when returning for a second run, with the throw rebounding off his body and onto the stumps.
Hobart appealed and despite Ross making his ground, the bemused batsman was adjudged to have purposely deviated from his line and was given out.
The first obstructing the field in BBL history #BBL07 pic.twitter.com/uG1o1AlbWp
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) January 10, 2018
Jimmy Peirson then entered and struck 23 from 13 in a miraculous recovery, leaving the Heat 13 to win from the final over.
Veteran allrounder Dan Christian, bowling his only over of the night, held his nerve though as Brendan Doggett holed out to deep mid-on when needing a final-ball four to win.
McCullum disagreed with the obstruction decision, labelling the rule a grey area that called for the spirit of cricket to be employed.
“I don’t believe it was the right decision; we’re not righteous on our stance on the spirit of the game but every now and then you get a chance to stand up for the spirit of the game and I think tonight George missed an opportunity,” McCullum said.
“He, in time, will perhaps live to wish he made the other choice.”
Bailey was somewhat sheepish in explaining his actions post-game, in what was a fourth-straight win that put them equal with the Heat on eight points.
“When I saw the replay I saw that Rossy had changed his angle and we asked ‘has he changed his line, can you check for obstruction,” Bailey said.
McCullum didn’t blame the call on the loss, instead credited D’Arcy Short’s BBL-record knock of 122 as a deservedly match-winning one for the visitors.
The Hurricanes opener notched the first hundred of the Big Bash season and the highest in the tournament’s seven-year history.
Short blasted 122 not out off 69 balls – including eight sixes and eight fours – as he also passed 400 runs for the tournament so far.
The 27-year-old brought up his hundred with a six in the 19th over then hit three consecutive sixes in the final over off Mark Steketee to swing the game in Hobart’s favour.
The innings put Short back at the top of the BBL’s runscorers and six-hitters list, following knocks of 42, 96 and 97 in the last three games.
It was a good of highlights, with a superb, one-handed return catch from Jofra Archer to remove the dangerous Ben Cutting a further blow as the game slipped away from the Heat in the final five overs before the late drama unfolded.
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