Video: Steve Smith Survived The Most Controversial Run-Out Call By Umpire Nitin Menon: The second day of the fifth Ashes 2023 test at the Kia Oval was a stage set for an intriguing contest. The crowd watched, rapt, as a questionable call rattled the Oval, leaving spectators and players alike in suspense.
When Chris Woakes bowled to Steve Smith, the Australian pro tucked it to mid-wicket and immediately called for two runs. A moment’s hesitation while turning led to a close call as Smith had to dive to make the ground. As Smith hurried to make his ground, Jonny Bairstow hurried to gather the ball at the stumps.
Unfortunately for England, Bairstow prematurely dislodged the bail before securing the ball. It was only the bail from the off stump that came loose, and at that point, Smith was not quite safe. However, when Bairstow entirely removed the bail from the groove, and it entirely separated from the middle stump groove, Smith had made it in.
The decision was a matter of frames. The third umpire, Nitin Menon, took his time in evaluating the situation, ultimately favouring the batsman. Boos rang around the Oval in response to the decision, adding to the tense atmosphere. The incident marked a contentious point in the game and will likely spur debates in the coming days.
Video: Steve Smith Survived The Most Controversial Run-Out Call By Umpire Nitin Menon
George Ealham 🤝 Gary Pratt
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 28, 2023
Amidst this controversy, we must not overlook the commendable fieldwork from substitute George Ealham. He collected the ball swiftly and sent a flat throw towards the stumps. If Bairstow had not dislodged the bails prematurely, this could have mirrored the infamous Ricky Ponting 2005 moment.
YOU MAY ALSO READ: 5 Australian Batters With The Lowest Strike-rate In An Ashes Innings
If Bairstow had made stronger contact with the stumps, the other bail could have dislodged too while Smith was short of his ground. It was a missed opportunity for England and a moment of relief for Australia. As the test continues at the Kia Oval, the energy remains high, with each ball bearing the potential to turn the game around.