Steve Smith narrowly escaped a sensational run out from England’s substitute fielder, George Ealham, during the second day of the fifth Ashes Test match at the Oval.
It was almost reminiscent of Ricky Ponting’s dismissal at Trent Bridge in the 2005 Ashes series and ironically, the former Australian captain was on Sky Sports’ commentary at the time the incident took place.
The decision, which has sparked much discussion online, saw Smith knock a ball from Chris Woakes down to mid-wicket.
On the television coverage, the ball seems to trickle away out wide, with the 34-year-old and his batting partner, Pat Cummins, attempting to make it back to the crease in time for two runs.
But appearing from out of the picture of the television coverage came Earlham, who steamed in to throw a rocket of a ball into Jonny Bairstow.
Steve Smith (pictured) narrowly survived a run out on the second day of the fifth Ashes Test
Smith (left) was stumped by Jonny Bairstow (right) who took a sensational throw from England’s substitute fielder George Ealham
Ealham celebrated with his side after his sensational piece of fielding, but the TMO decided that Smith had not been run out
The England keeper took the catch and swung his hands into the wicket as Smith dived for his crease with the bat.
The decision went upstairs to the television match official, with Ponting initially saying ‘this could be out’ before asking the question everyone in the stands was thinking ‘had Smith made his ground?’
It was a very hard decision for the TMO to call, with there being millimetres between Smith’s bat and the crease.
But it seemed that Bairstow had made contact with the stumps before he caught the ball.
Under Law 29, the wicket was not removed fairly and subsequently decision was ruled as ‘not out’.
Ponting, meanwhile, who had notably been dismissed by substitute fielder Gary Pratt in a similar incident was on hand to tell Smith that he should have learned from his mistakes.
Bairstow (right) had appeared to stump the bails without the ball in his hands as Smith (left) dived for his crease
Chris Woakes would return to bowl at Smith (middle) but the Australian batter caught a top-edge sending his shot high into the air
Bairstow (pictured) was on hand again to take the catch with the wicketkeeper brilliantly tracking back to dismiss Smith
It was reminiscent of Ricky Ponting’s dismissal at Trent Bridge in 2005, where the former Australia captain was also dismissed by an England substitute
‘The lesson is, don’t take on the sub fielder you know nothing about … the bloke’s covered 100 metres in 8.5 seconds,’ Ponting said on Sky Sports.
Woakes would be back to attack Bairstow again soon after, with the Australian swinging again with his bat towards mid-wicket.
Lashing wildly at the ball he caught a top-edge and sent the ball up into the air behind his wicket.
Bairstow was on hand once again and this time made no mistake, running backwards to take an impressive catch on the run to dismiss Smith for 71 off 123 balls.
Woakes would come back to dismiss his replacement, Todd Murphy, with an LBW, before the Australian captain, Cummins, was caught by his counter part Ben Stokes on the boundary off Joe Root.
It means that at the close of day two, Australia narrowly surpassed England by 12 runs, finishing their first innings at 295 all out.
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