County Championship round-up: Batty apologises after 'Mankading' dismissal causes outrage at Taunton


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The Independent Online

Gareth Batty, the Surrey captain, last night apologised for his role in sparking extraordinary scenes at Taunton yesterday when the Somerset batsman, Alex Barrow, was run out at the non-striker's end in a so-called “Mankading” dismissal executed by Surrey's Indian left-arm spin bowler, Murali Kartik.

Although acceptable within the laws, "Mankading" – where a bowler runs out a batsman at the non-striker's end for walking down the pitch before the ball is delivered – is regarded in England as against the spirit of the game. The mode of dismissal took its name, ironically, from another Indian left-armer, Vinkoo Mankad, who ran out the Australian batsman Bill Brown in similar fashion during a Test match in Sydney in 1947.

Batty was asked by umpire Peter Hartley whether he wanted to withdraw the appeal but declined. Last night, however, he admitted he had made a mistake and with hindsight would have acted differently. "In the heat of the battle I made the decision that, according to the letter of the law, was correct," he said. "People obviously think the spirit of the game has been brought into disrepute, but that was not my intention and I thoroughly apologise for that."

Kartik continued to bowl amid boos and the Surrey players were barracked as they left the field at tea.

Marcus Trescothick, the Somerset captain, spoke to one spectator himself in an attempt to restore calm. "It's not what you come to expect in county cricket," he said. "It was quite astonishing and disappointing. The game doesn't need to come to that."

Batty, whose side is battling to avoid relegation from the First Division, said he planned to meet Trescothick "to make sure things are right with him and the Somerset team", although Kartik was seemingly unrepentant. Responding via Twitter, he said: "Everyone get a life please... if a batsman is out on a stroll, in spite of being warned, does that count as being in the spirit of the game?"

In the top of the table match at Edgbaston, Warwickshire declared on 504 for 6 after Tim Ambrose made 151 not out. Nottinghamshire, who need to win to keep their faint title hopes alive, were 188 for 4 in reply, needing to reach 355 to avoid the follow-on.