DRS is both a bane and a boon in cricket, for it adds an element of intricacy and precision but at the same time produces some hard-to-digest decisions, raising questions over its reliance. England on day five scalped the crucial wicket of Agha Ali, only for the decision to be bizarrely overturned.
The first Test between England and Pakistan at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium headed to an exciting close on day five, with all three results seeming pretty much equally probable at the start of the third session. While the hosts require 86 runs for victory, the English need just five scalps to script a famous win. However, given the halts in play due to bad light on the previous four days, an early close of play might even mean the game ends in a draw. Nevertheless, the situation could have been a lot different had fortune been on the side of the English in the final two overs before Tea.
After a relentless attack by pace, including a 10-over spell by skipper Ben Stokes himself, that fetched the side two important wickets, England finally turned to Jack Leach for the penultimate over of the session. The off-spinner bowled a relatively quiet over until the final delivery. Leach pitched a ball at length, tempting the well-set Salman Agha Ali into a slog sweep, only for the batter to mistime it entirely as the ball travelled straight on to catch him in the gut. At first glance, Ali seemed to have been caught plumb in front and the umpire agreed as he raised his finger.
However, given the tail awaited after him, Agha Ali resorted to taking the DRS appeal. Once the initial checks were done, there was a long delay and after what seemed like an eternity, the big screens finally displayed the ball tracking. While the ball was pitching in line and the impact was in front, it surprisingly jumped over the wickets and missed the stumps by quite some margin. What made the trajectory seem even more suspicious was the fact that the pitch had till then been extremely slow and the Kookaburra had been keeping low, provoking Twiteratti to take to social media to express their doubts over the absurd decision.
How on Earth!?
— MINI BUS 2022 (@minibus2022) December 5, 2022
I’m still baffled by that Salman wicket! How on earth isit going over the stumps? #PAKvENG
— Jord (@jordsufc_x) December 5, 2022
— Shaheen Taori (@Mai_bhi_expert) December 5, 2022
— Umair Ijaz (@UmairIjaz_) December 5, 2022
— राhul Hingonekar ✪ (@RHingonekar) December 5, 2022
One of the slowest, lowest pitches you’d ever see and DRS says that’s going over the top. Ok. #PAKVENG
— LachlanB_ 🌏✈️🏈🏏 (@LachlanB_) December 5, 2022
How the hell?
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