There are moments when people left dumbfounded by incidents that occur on the field. Today, it was Usman Khawaja’s turn to produce a similar moment as he took a brilliant diving catch, despite the ball bobbing out of his hand upon impact, to dismiss Stuart Broad, albeit with a touch of controversy.
On the penultimate ball of the 136th over of England’s first innings in the fourth Test in Melbourne, Pat Cummins bowled a short ball outside the off stump to which Stuart Broad tried to guide over gully. But Khawaja, sensing an opportunity of a catch, charged in from the third man region and dived to his front to scoop a tremendous catch in front of him. Although at the first instance it seemed like the ball touched the ground as it bobbed off the Australian’s hand upon impact, the umpire was unsure about it and referred it to upstairs with the soft signal being “Out”.
After checking for a front-foot no-ball, the third umpire Joel Wilson checked the replays for the catch and needed to have conclusive evidence that the catch was not taken cleanly to overturn the on-field umpire’s decision. After checking the replays time and time again from various angles, Wilson realized that Khawaja was supporting the ball against his right arm which has been very much allowed in the game.
Wilson made up his mind to declare Broad out and umpire Kumar Dharmasena also seemed to be mouthing out the same while the giant screen flashed “Out” to signal the fall of ninth English wicket. Although it was a very controversial finish thanks to the lack of proper replays from every angle, Australia would take it anyway. But this would surely be a reminiscent of the Steve Waugh catch off Brian Lara in West Indies in 1998-99.