In the intense clash between England and Sri Lanka during Match 25 of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 at Bengaluru’s M.Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday, October 26, Jonny Bairstow found himself in a tricky situation. England’s skipper, Jos Buttler, won the toss and chose to bat first. Bairstow, along with Dawid Malan, was entrusted with setting the stage for their team’s innings.
As the game commenced, it was Dilshan Madushanka who took the ball for Sri Lanka, delivering a menacing inswinger that posed a threat to Bairstow. The first ball caused a moment of alarm as it swerved sharply back towards the stumps. Bairstow, however, managed to keep it down, and, in a stroke of fortune, claimed three runs.
This episode led to a tense debate, with Sri Lanka’s captain, Kusal Mendis, suspecting that the ball had initially struck Bairstow’s pads. A potential review was contemplated, but the team couldn’t reach a consensus within the stipulated time.
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Subsequent replays revealed that the ball had indeed made contact with Bairstow’s pad before anything else, and the ball tracking technology confirmed that he would have been declared out had Sri Lanka opted for a review. The enormity of the missed opportunity sunk in as the Sri Lankan team watched the replays on the stadium’s giant screen.
This lapse could have granted them the perfect start they needed in this crucial must-win game. In this pivotal World Cup clash, Bairstow’s early escape due to Sri Lanka’s indecision proved to be a turning point that left both teams with much to ponder as the match unfolded.