Celebration, fireworks and a no ball: How incredible drama unfolded in the final delivery of Vitality Blast

Fireworks, celebrations and a team huddle, all went to waste in the supposed final ball of Hampshire in the Vitality Blast on Saturday, after the Nathan Ellis delivery was deemed as a front foot no ball.

The players who had gathered in the embrace of a huddle had to walk back to their positions with a wry smile on their faces, as they prepared to bowl the final ball of the tournament as a free hit. With just three runs needed in the last ball, Nathan Ellis outfoxed England’s Richard Gleeson and with the help of his Hampshire teammates, remembered to take off the stumps to make sure that the batsmen did not steal a minimum of two runs, which could have taken them to the super-over.

A delirious commentary box reacted to a frenzied crowd, who could not believe the drama that was unfolding right in front of their eyes. Hampshire fans had burst into joy as Nathan Ellis’ yorker shattered into the stumps of Gleeson in the final ball of the over, but that was converted into two runs, owing to the no ball. Gleeson, once again facing Ellis in the last ball, could not put bat to ball against a well hid slower delivery.

The video posted by Vitality Blast captured the moment with perfection, when an aware Gleeson can be seen running for two runs after the run-out was affected at the wrong end. If his partner Tom Hartley would have been aware of the circumstances, there might have been a slender chance of Lancashire drawing level against their opponents.

Speaking after the game, Nathan Ellis admitted that he did not know exactly what to bowl in the final over.

“I was conflicted, didn’t know whether to stick to what was working. But Vincey got everyone together, and once I’d made my mind up I stuck to it. With the tail I wanted to be able to defend six or seven. I was aware I’d bowled a lot of slower balls in the semi.”

Player of the match, Ben McDermott joked that the players had nearly gone into the stands to celebrate under the fireworks, before it was deemed a no ball.

“That second-last ball, we were nearly in the Hollies and had to come back… a couple of sets of fireworks were nice. To get 150 on the board was a good total in the end. Thought it was below-par at first but kept taking wickets to keep us in it.”

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