Bookmark and Share

Turning two into six

Jos Buttler batting against Australia
Jos Buttler batting against Australia

Jos Buttler had two runs upgraded to a six during the second Carlton Mid ODI, in Brisbane, after an initial mistake from the officials.

England wicket-keeper Buttler, on his way to an eventual score of 49, initially appeared to have cleared the ropes when he struck Australia's Mitchell Johnson over long-off in the 48th over of the first innings.

Aussie number three Shaun Marsh had other ideas though, producing an acrobatic piece of fielding to palm the ball back inside the boundary while airborne - and it initially appeared he had saved his side four vital runs.

However, as many observers quickly realised, Marsh's take-off point - which was behind the boundary and not in the field of play - meant that Buttler did indeed deserve a maximum.

Law 19.4 reads: "After it has crossed the boundary in the air, a ball may be caught, subject to the provisions of Law 32 (Caught), or fielded provided that;

"(i) the first contact with the ball is by a fielder, not touching or grounded beyond the boundary, who has some part of his person grounded within the boundary or whose final contact with the ground before touching the ball was entirely within the boundary."

The italicised portion of the Law above is the crucial element in this case. Had Marsh been able to make his leap from inside the boundary, then he would have successfully saved the additional four runs - but with the fence several feet in from the edge of the playing surface, the fielder had utilised this space to make his attempted save.

With the aid of technology, the officials later made the decision to upgrade the shot from two to six during the innings interval.

The animation below deals with boundary catches as opposed to fielding, but the principal behind the decision remains the same - namely that the fielder's final contact with the Ground before he first touches the ball must be within the field of play.

Laws of Cricket Animations | Boundary Catching

This aspect of the Laws of Cricket is a relatively new one, having only been introduced in the Fourth Edition of the 2000 Code, which came into effect in October 2010.

MCC made a short video at that time explaining the change in the Law, which can be viewed below.

Fourth Edition 2000 Code Law Changes | Boundary fielding

Share this page

Back to Top