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Ashes 2017: Twitterati explodes as Moeen Ali’s controversial dismissal sparks a crease-line debate

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(Photo Credit: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The Ashes opener went almost perfect for first 3 days with both the teams battling viciously. The hosts managed to gain a slender 26-run lead to set up thrilling second innings. England 2 down for 33 at stumps were in a spot of bother and relying heavily on the skipper Root to pull them out of the rut that was the lot deeper than what it looked. On a Day 4 hot Sunday afternoon at The Gabba, Moeen Ali was given out stumped in a contentious manner.

Things were not looking bright for the Poms at 155/5. Nathan ‘Gary’ Lyon was bowling the 54th over of the innings. Lyon bowled a delivery which ripped past Ali’s outside edge and pounded into Tim Paine’s gloves. Paine got the bails off in a jiff, not much to the realization of his teammates that they were in a for a close stumping call.

Lyon had his hands on head and frown on his face. The call went upstairs to Kiwi Chris Gaffaney. Gaffaney, after having few close looks from different angles ruled Ali out, much to the shock of English hopefuls who were occupying yellow, blue and maroon seats at the Gabba.

The dismissal sparked up a debate about the thickness of the crease. While Appendix C section 1 of the ICC playing regulations set out the dimensions of the crease, there is no guidance as to the thickness of the lines. It varies from ground to ground. The problems are that batsmen’s spikes cause the line to fade, making the curators to repaint it. The multiple coats of white paint make the line appear thicker.

Micheal Clarke was left disgruntled with Ali’s dismissal “I disagree with that decision,” said Michael Clarke said on Channel 9. “I thought he had something behind the line and I thought the benefit of the doubt had to go to the batsman.”

However Micheal Vaughan had a different perspective, “I think it was fair (decision), it was obviously very tight,” said Michael Vaughan. “I also reckon it’s the thickest crease line I’ve ever seen.”

Reacting to his controversial dismissal in a press conference, Ali said, “If I was bowling, I’d want it to be out,” he said. “It depends on the angle you look at it but you have to respect the umpire’s call. You just have to move on. I thought I was all right personally, but the replay did make it look tight. I was disappointed I got out in that fashion but mostly the timing of it. I and Jonny were building a good partnership. I was over straight away.”

– by Atharva Apte

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