A bizarre dismissal during the second ODI between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh on Sunday divided opinion as Zimbabwe’s Brendan Taylor was adjudged out hit wicket after he mistakenly hit the stumps with his bat just as he finished practising a shot. The incident took place in the 25th over of Zimbabwe’s innings when Taylor missed with an attempt to upper cut a delivery from Bangladesh pacer Shoriful Islam. After the ball had passed his bat, Taylor practiced the shot from the crease and swung his bat backwards, dislodging one bail in the process.

The on-field umpires referred the decision to the third umpire, who adjudged Taylor out hit wicket.

However, some fans and experts stated the laws of the game pertaining to hit wicket and opined that Taylor should not have been given out.

The “Out Hit Wicket” clause 35.1 in ICC Men’s ODI Playing Conditions is as follows

35.1.1 The striker is out Hit wicket if, after the bowler has entered the delivery stride and while the ball is in play, his/her wicket is put down by either the striker’s bat or person as described in Laws 29.1.1.2 to 29.1.1.4 (Wicket put down) in any of the following circumstances:

35.1.1.1 in the course of any action taken by him/her in preparing to receive or in receiving a delivery,

35.1.1.2 in setting off for the first run immediately after playing or playing at the ball,

35.1.1.3 if no attempt is made to play the ball, in setting off for the first run, providing that in the opinion of the umpire this is immediately after the striker has had the opportunity of playing the ball,

35.1.1.4 in lawfully making a second or further stroke for the purpose of guarding his/her wicket within the provisions of Law 34.3 (Ball lawfully struck more than once).

35.1.2 If the striker puts his/her wicket down in any of the ways described in Laws 29.1.1.2 to 29.1.1.4 before the bowler has entered the delivery stride, either umpire shall call and signal Dead ball.”

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Further, the “Not out Hit Wicket” clause 35.2 states: The striker is not out under this clause should his wicket be put down in any of the ways referred to in clause 35.1 if any of the following applies:
– it occurs after the striker has completed any action in receiving the delivery, other than in clauses 35.1.1.2 to 35.1.1.4.
– it occurs when the striker is in the act of running, other than setting off immediately for the first run.
– it occurs when the striker is trying to avoid being run out or stumped.
– it occurs when the striker is trying to avoid a throw in at any time.
– the bowler after entering the delivery stride does not deliver the ball. In this case either umpire shall immediately call
and signal Dead ball. See clause 20.4 (Umpire calling and signalling Dead ball).
– the delivery is a No ball

Former Zimbabwe fast bowler Mpumelelo Mbangwa was among those who thought Taylor was not out.

“Technically not out – it is only hit wicket if you dislodge the bail while playing a shot, and the ball is nowhere in the picture. Umpires should have recalled him,” said one Twitter user.

Zimbabwe were restricted to 240 for 9 in their designated 50 overs.

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