Watch: They say lightning doesn’t strike twice – in the BBL, it sure does. Twice during Melbourne Stars’ chase against Melbourne Renegades, a shot hit the closed roof of the Etihad Stadium, and was deemed six under the changed rules of the competition.

A skied slog by Melbourne Stars opener Joe Clarke hit the roof of the Etihad Stadium in the third over of the chase. Twelve overs later, Beau Webster repeated the same, with a far less convincing stroke.

Clarke’s attempt to take on Will Sutherland in the third over of Stars’ 163-run chase saw the batter top-edge the ball – it went high in the air, high enough to hit the roof of the stadium and fall back in, dropping to where a short midwicket would be stationed. The umpire promptly signalled it a six.

Off the first ball of the 15th over, Webster touched the roof again with a near-vertical stroke off Tom Rogers.

According to the updated BBL Laws, section 19.7.1 of the “Stadium Roof” subsection, “If the ball having been struck by the bat hits any part of the stadium roof structure, retractable or fixed, a Boundary 6 will be scored.”

Over the years, there’s been on-and-off debate over the regulations surrounding roof hits. Playing against an ICC XI during the Super Series in 2005, Australia’s Mike Hussey famously hit the roof, but the ball was deemed dead. The same continued when the BBL began in 2011.

In 2012, Aaron Finch’s “six” was was called dead as well, which led to Cricket Australia modifying the rules – if the roof is open, a ball that hits any part of the stadium was deemed a six; if it was closed, any ball that hit the retractable part was ruled a dead ball. Since then, the regulations have been simplified further, with any hit to the roof now deemed a six.

During the 2018/19 BBL, Ashton Turner benefitted from the changed regulations, when he was awarded a six for a roof-hit despite skying the ball. Turner later said that while the rule saved him, “it was not fair”, terming it a “bad rule”.

A dramatic middle-order collapse negated the two automatic sixes though: Stars, needing 21 off 25 at one point with seven wickets left, eventually lost by six runs – the value of one roof hit.

As expected, there were plenty of reactions criticising the rule:

Watch the Clarke “six” here:

And the Webster hit: