Controversy erupted in a Somerset Cricket League match in England between Minehead Cricket Club and Purnell Cricket Club when a bowler's unsportsmanlike behaviour denied a batsman his first-ever league century. Minehead CC's Jay Darrell was batting on 98 and en route to his maiden century with his team needing two runs to win but the batsman was left stranded by one of the most dastardly acts ever to be seen on a cricket field. The unnamed Purnell CC bowler decided to throw the ball over the boundary rope for a no-ball four, which ensured Minehead's victory but left Darrell tantalisingly short of his landmark hundred.
Following the match, one of Minhead CC players Angus Marsh took to Twitter to vent his anger at the incident, calling it "the worst cricket moment of my life".
Today I witnessed the worst cricket moment of my life... @MineheadCricket 2s needed 5 runs to win, Jay Darrell was on 95*, never scored a league ton! Purnells bowler THREW the ball for a no-ball 6... embarrassing! @BumbleCricket thoughts?— Gus. (@MarshAngus) August 4, 2018
The tweet quickly went viral with the likes of British TV personality Piers Morgan and former England cricketer Rob Key having their say on the matter.
While commentating on Nottinghamshire's T20 match against Worcestershire for Sky Sports, Rob Key blasted the bowler, calling the incident "appalling".
The batsman in question, Jay Darrell also commented on Twitter but chose to play down the controversy.
One Twitter user revealed that the bowler was seen "laughing" after his cowardly act.
Iv played & seen a lot of cricket in my time and Iv never seen anything like that before @MineheadCricket 2s. A young lad on for his first league and the bowler throws in over the ropes and then laughs about it. Credit to his team they were just as disgusted.— Roo Woodward (@razziabou) August 4, 2018
Minehead gave credit to the opposition captain for apologising while Purnell CC came out with a statement, saying that the matter will be "dealt with internally by the club".
Not nice to see. But more to the point, a great innings and a great win. Respect to the @purnellcc captain who apologised to the batsman on behalf of his bowler. But some things just can't be undone :( https://t.co/Sqip8nEQRz— MineheadCricketClub (@MineheadCricket) August 4, 2018
This is not the first time that the fielding team's or a player's unsportsmanlike behaviour has denied a century for the batsman.
West Indian star Kieron Pollard bowled a big no-ball when Evin Lewis was on 97 off 32 balls, with St Kitts and Nevis Patriots needing one run to beat Barbados Tridents in a 2017 Caribbean Premier League match.
Back in 2010, India's Virender Sehwag was stranded on 99 when Sri Lankan bowler Suraj Randiv bowled a no-ball to complete a one-day international in Sri Lanka. Randiv was subsequently given a one-match suspension.