Ashes 2023: Steven Smith survives run-out dismissal after controversial decision

Steven Smith was survived a run-out appeal in the third session as third umpire Nitin Menon ruled him not out.

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Steve Smith
Steve Smith. (Photo Source: Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Another third-umpire decision became the talking point in the Ashes 2023 as Steven Smith survived a run-out chance on Day 2 of the fifth Test of the Ashes 2023 at the Oval. The incident took place on the third ball of the 78th over bowled by Chris Woakes when Smith worked the ball towards mid-wicket and looked for a double.

The ball was collected by England’s substitute fielder George Ealham, who quickly threw it towards wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow. Bairstow hit the stumps with Smith diving as England immediately began celebrating the run-out.

The Australian batter also looked certain that he was short of his crease and began a slow walk back to the pavilion. However, the third Umpire Nitin Menon took a long look and ruled that Bairstow’s glove had disturbed the bails before collecting the ball. Notably, Smith had just got inside the crease by the time both the bails were dislodged. 

Hence, the decision was ruled in Australia’s favour and was met with strong criticism from the English crowd as their deafening ‘boos’ were heard all around the Oval. The decision has got the cricket world divided, with many calling it to be ‘out’ but everyone applauded Menon’s shrewdness under pressure.

Ricky Ponting got run out by a 12th man in Ashes 2005

Notably, the runout reminded commentator Ricky Ponting about his infamous runout during the fourth Test of the Ashes 2005 in Nottingham. Being enforced to follow on, Australia were 155/2 when Ponting was called for a risky single by Damien Martyn. However, England’s 12th man Garry Pratt quickly collected the ball and hit the stumps at the striker’s end to dismiss the well-set batter for 48.

Ponting was livid with his dismissal as he made a furious walk back to the pavilion and was seen shouting towards the England balcony. Notably, the Australia skipper was unhappy with England’s frequent use of substitute fielders to rest their bowlers throughout the series and he vented out the frustration by sledging England coach Duncan Fletcher on his way back to the pavilion.

However, in a heartwarming gesture after the series, the Australian skipper signed a pair of his shoes and gifted them to Pratt and said ‘Well done’.

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