England skipper Ben Stokes dropped Australian batter Steve Smith’s catch on the final day of the fifth Test of the 2023 Ashes series at the Kennington Oval in London. He made a mess of the catch which might prove to be a huge moment in the match, as Australia marches towards victory in the test. They are already 2-1 up in the five-match Test series.
The incident took place during the 66th over of the final innings. Moeen Ali bowled a loopy delivery, which took Steve Smith’s glove. The ball popped up to the leg gully. Ben Stokes jumped to grab the ball with one hand. However, as he was ready to celebrate the big breakthrough in the game, his hand hit his knee the ball slipped out of his hand.
Ben Stokes was disappointed with his effort. However, after much deliberation, he decided to take the DRS. Third umpire Nitin Menon took a careful look at the dismissal and stayed with the on-field umpire’s call of Not out. The replays showed that Ben Stokes did not have control of the ball after taking the catch. Steve Smith got a lucky reprieve in the innings.
Watch the video here:
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 31, 2023
Steve Smith ruled Not Out as per Law 33.3 of the MCC
Steve Smith’s reprieve proved to be a huge moment in the fifth Ashes 2023 Test. It also sparked a debate on social media, about whether the umpire’s decision was correct. The ICC explained that Steve Smith was ruled Not Out as the catch wasn’t perceived to be clean, according to Law 33.3 of the MCC. The Law states,
“The act of making a catch shall start from the time when the ball first comes into contact with a fielder’s person and shall end when a fielder obtains complete control over both the ball and his/her own movement.”