Dambulla: Cricket is never short of surprises, but this one takes the cake! The latest came from the game's rulebook that disallowed Indian opener Virender Sehwag a well-deserved century against Sri Lanka in the ODI tri-nation series here Monday.
Sehwag steered India to the 171-run victory target in 34.3 overs. But there was a sore point when Sehwag batting at 99 and India needing just one run for victory struck Suraj Randiv for a huge six over long-off and raised his bat in celebration, only to realise a moment later that it was a big no-ball from the off-spinner and his runs would not be counted.
As per the rule, which many would have come to know only today, the match finished when Randiv over-stepped, which gave India the required one run to win, making Sehwag's six inconsequential.
Sehwag, who is never shy of reaching milestones or finishing off matches with his customary sixes, was not complaining at what many would have felt an attempt from the Sri Lankan to stop the batsman from scoring a century.
"It often happens in cricket. When a batsman is on 99 and the scores are level, bowlers try to bowl no-balls and wides. The opposing team do not want you to score 100. They tried their best. Fair enough," Sehwag said after the match.
Even former England captain Tony Greig, while putting questions to Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara on the issue, said he was unaware of the rule.
Sangakkara said he, too, had no clue about this particular rule. "I am not aware of that (rule). Well he deserved to get a 100," Sangakka said in the post-match ceremony.
The laws of cricket are established by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).
Strangely, according to this rule, the ball is counted as having been faced by Sehwag.