Australia batter Steve Smith earned a massive reprieve during his side’s 384-run chase against England on day five of the final Ashes Test at the Oval after Ben Stokes failed to ‘control’ a catch on Monday.
England off-spinner Moeen Ali induced a catching opportunity off Smith from the first delivery of the last over before Lunch. Smith, batting on 39, was surprised with the extra bounce from the good length, standing up to brush his gloves on its way to Stokes at leg-slip.
The ball hopped high over the England captain, who leapt high in the air to catch the ball before immediately throwing it towards the ground after landing.
While the on-field umpire did not signal Smith out, England went up for a review. TV umpire Nitin Menon then adjudged the catch as not out after Stokes failed to stay in control of the ball while completing the catch.
Why was Steve Smith’s catch by Ben Stokes deemed not out by third umpire?
The decision was made in regard of Law 33.3 from Marlybone Cricket Club’s (MCC) Laws of Cricket. According to the Law, “The act of making a catch shall start from the time when the ball first comes into contact with a fielder’s person and shall end when a fielder obtains complete control over both the ball and his/her own movement.”
With two sessions remaining, Australia requires 146 runs to win to secure the series 3-1 and improve on its standings in the ICC World Test Championship points table.
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