Australians are no strangers to catch controversies, with the Sydney Test and Ricky Ponting’s antics still afresh in the minds of all Indian fans.
Something very similar happened on the 5th day of the ongoing 3rd Ashes test, wherein Moeen Ali edged one to slip, and Smith, leaning forward took a very smart catch. The ball seemed to have bounced up from his fingers and Smith immediately started celebrating, but Erasmus looked circumspect and wanted to check with the 3rd umpire.
The soft signal from the on field umpires was ‘not out’ and hence conclusive evidence from the TV replays was required in order to overturn the on field decision.
The TV replays(from 3 different angles) showed that the ball had indeed hit the fingers of Smith first, and then bounced up, after which he juggled the ball a little to complete the catch.
Smith’s fingers were touching the ground as he was leaning forward, and while the commentators felt that the evidence was good enough to get the decision overturned, Aleem Dar, the third umpire felt that the ball had touched the ground just before, or at the same instant as hitting Smith’s fingers.
Moeen Ali was thus adjudged not out and England survived a huge scare, having already lost Bairstow in the morning.
Check out the video:
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 18, 2017
Rain looms large at Perth, with the first session having been already washed out. England would be hoping that rain returns, in a big way, while the Australians would be hoping for exactly the opposite, in order to force a result today.
Australia are currently in the drivers seat and need 5 more wickets on a bowler friendly 5th day Perth wicket.