December 4, 2017 11:00:35 pm
England were “very relieved” to finally get a video review in their favour with the dismissal of Steve Smith, seamer Chris Woakes said after collecting the vital scalp of the Australian captain in the second Ashes Test on Monday.
Smith had barely survived when an lbw decision was overturned on review off the third ball he faced from fast bowler James Anderson, so England were understandably nervous when umpire Chris Gaffaney gave the same player out to Woakes three overs later.
Smith had no hesitation calling for a review by the Umpire Decision Review System (DRS), but this time the technology projected that the ball would have clipped the top of off stump and the decision was upheld, sending Smith packing to the delight of the England team.
“The way DRS has gone this game for us, there were a few that we thought were dead certs for us, and they haven’t (been), so to get (one) on umpire’s call was really nice,” Woakes told reporters.
“It’s obviously a big wicket as well. The way the others had gone, it was a relief in the group to get that wicket.”
Smith’s dismissal ultimately might not affect the outcome of the match, but how differently the game might have unfolded had two reviews not gone against England on Sunday, when Australians Tim Paine and Shaun Marsh both benefited.
Marsh was on 29 when he was given out lbw, but DRS projected the ball would have bounced a whisker over middle stump.
Reprieved, he proceeded to score 126 not out as Australia built a huge first-innings score of 442 for eight declared.
Marsh acknowledged that he had not been overly confident of getting the decision overturned.
“I probably thought it was outside leg (stump) more than going over,” he said. “When I saw the ball pitch in line I thought I might have been in a bit of trouble.”
Two overs after Marsh’s reprieve, Paine, on 24, was adjudged lbw to Anderson. As with Marsh, the ball was projected to have passed fractionally over middle stump and the wicketkeeper went on to make 57.
Marsh and Paine shared a sixth-wicket stand of 85 that tipped the match firmly in Australia’s favour.
Later in the day, England also opted for a review when opener Mark Stoneman was trapped lbw for 18 by Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc.
On that occasion, however, the umpire had the call right and Stoneman was sent on his way.
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