The fifth Ashes Test at Kennington Oval witnessed a thrilling moment when Steve Smith had a remarkable escape during a run-out. A close call during the run-out review left everyone on the edge of their seats, but replays ultimately favored the batsman.
England pacer Stuart Broad shed light on the situation, revealing that on-field umpire Kumar Dharmasena believed that Smith would have been out if zing bails were used. Despite the tense moment, Steve Smith produced a stellar performance, leading Australia’s dominance in the first innings.
During the match, Steve Smith, batting at 42, was involved in a run-out attempt where substitute fielder George Ealham’s accurate throw reached wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow just in time. Bairstow was convinced that he had run out of the right-handed batsman. However, upon review, it was evident that Smith’s bat was inside the crease when the bails were dislodged with Bairstow’s gloves.
The third umpire ruled it not out due to the lack of conclusive evidence. After the day’s play, Stuart Broad revealed that the on-field umpire, Kumar Dharmasena, shared with him that had zing bails been in use, Smith would have been given out.
“I honestly don’t know the rules. I think there was enough grey area to give that not out. It looked like the benefit of the doubt sort of stuff; the first angle I saw, I thought out, and then the side angle. It looked like the bails probably dislodged. Kumar Dharmasena said to me if it were zing bails, it would have been given out; I don’t understand the reasoning why,” Stuart Broad said.
After surviving the run-out scare, Steve Smith showcased his class and resilience with the bat. He continued his fine form and scored a valuable 73 runs off 123 balls, emerging as the top run-scorer for his team in the first innings. Smith’s contribution was pivotal in Australia’s dominance as they piled up 295 runs before being all out.
Australia’s batting display allowed them to surpass England’s first innings total of 283 runs and take a significant 12-run lead at the stumps on Day 2. Harry Brook was the top scorer for England with an impressive knock of 85 runs, while Ben Duckett and Moeen Ali also made valuable contributions of 41 and 34 runs, respectively. Mitchell Starc proved to be the most successful bowler for Australia, claiming four wickets.