Underarm Delivery: Most Disgraceful Moment in Cricket History

Being a die-hard cricket fan, we have heard numerous times about the Underarm Delivery Incident, but never got to know the real story behind it. Its been 33 years, but many of us are still curious to know the true story of that ball.

Lets go back to 1st of February, 1981 at MCG ground and find what exactly happened.

Underarm Delivery: Most Disgraceful Moment in Cricket History

It was the Third final of the 5 finals of World series in Benson and Hedges cup between New Zealand and Australia at Melbourne Cricket Ground. Both the teams had won one each of the first two matches and this was an crucial match to take the lead.

Australia batted first made 235 for 4 in 50 overs, with the help of impressive inning of 90 runs from their Captain Greg Chappell. New Zealand were in the hunt for most part of the match, but kept losing crucial wickets. The situation boiled-down to the last over with 15 runs required and Trevor Chappell to bowl this decider.

Here is the ball-ball highlights of Trevor Chappell’s last over, which created history

1st delivery: Richard Hadlee on strike and Bruce Edgar at non-striker with 102 not-out. Hadlee hit the first ball for 4.
2nd delivery: Hadlee was out lbw with an arguable decision from umpire.
3rd delivery: Ian Smith in at number 9 with 11 required of 4, took a couple through mid-wicket
4th delivery: Two more for Ian Smith. Now 7 runs were required from last 2 balls
5th delivery: Ian Smith was clean bowled losing his middle stump

The epic 6th delivery: In came Brian McKechnie at number 10 with 7 required of the last ball. The real possibility was to hit a Six and tie the match from here, considering Trevor don’t’ bowl a wide or a No-ball. In this heat of tension, Australian captain Greg Chappell instructed his younger brother Trevor to bowl the iniquitous underarm delivery along the ground to negate any possibility of McKechnie getting under it and hitting a Six. Rod Marsh, the famous Australian wicket-keeper was visibly unhappy with this decision of Greg. Trevor bowled the underarm delivery and Australia had a shameful victory of 6 runs.

After playing the underarm delivery, Brian McKechnie threw his bat in utter disappointment. More disappointed was Bruce Edgar, as his 102 not-out went in vain. Bowling an underarm was legal at that time, but was against the spirit of the game. Truly a disgraceful moment in Cricketing History!

Lets watch this video and relive the last over of Trevor. Coincidentally Ian Chappell, the older brother of Greg and Trevor was in the commentary box.

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