Broad: Umpire said Smith run-out ‘would have been given’ with zing bails
Stuart Broad said that umpire Kumar Dharmasena had told him that Steven Smith would have been dismissed on the second day of the Ashes match at The Oval if zing bails had been in use. However, Broad added he was satisfied that Smith had won the questionable call.
In the 78th over,Steven Smith, who was on 42, took on the arm of substitute George Ealham, the son of former England allrounder Mark, who sprinted in from deep midwicket and produced a rocket-like throw that was caught by Jonny Bairstow. This moment may be crucial to the outcome of the Test and whether the series goes to 2-2.
However, on subsequent replays, umpire Nitin Menon determined that the bail was not completely dislodged from both grooves until Smith, who had pulled out a full-length dive, was in his crease.
Initially, it appeared that Smith was short of his ground, and with Ricky Ponting on Sky Sports commentary, mentions of Gary Pratt soon followed. The question of whether Bairstow slightly shifted the stumps prior to receiving the ball was also up for discussion.
“I honestly don’t know the rules,”Broad said.
“I think there was enough gray area to give that not out. It looked like the benefit of the doubt sort of stuff, first angle I saw I thought out, and then the side angle it looked like the bails probably dislodged.
“Kumar said to me if it was zing bails it would be given out, I don’t really understand the reasoning why.”
Under the Laws, the bail has to be completely removed. Law 29.1 states: “The wicket is broken when at least one bail is completely removed from the top of the stumps, or one or more stumps is removed from the ground.”
Tom Smith’s Cricket Umpiring and Scoring, MCC’s Official Interpretation of the Laws of Cricket, adds:
“For the purposes of dismissal – a bail has been removed at the moment that both ends of it leave their grooves.”
Smith had started to walk off when he first saw the replay on the big screen.
“I saw the initial replay and saw the bail come up, and when I looked at it the second time it looked like Jonny might have knocked the bail before the ball had come,”he said.
“Looked pretty close at that stage, if the ball had hit at the initial stage when the bail came then I would think I was well out of my ground.”
Smith admitted he was caught out by Ealham’s swift work.
“I know now that he’s very quick,”he said.
“The next one we hit out there when it was a similar push for two, I was like, gee, this guy’s tearing around the boundary, he’s coming at pace. Had I known that previously I might have just stayed there for the single.”
Smith continued to bat and eventually made 71 before skying a whip across the line at Chris Woakes after adding 54 runs with Pat Cummins. Had Smith been gone, Australia would have been 194 for 8 and in a significant hole. After taking three sixes from Mark Wood, Todd Murphy added 49 more runs with Cummins to take a slim lead.