It is no secret that Australia's usage of the DRS has been dodgy throughout the series, but more often than not, they've gotten away with it. However, today, it wasn't to be, as a wasted review came back to bite them on the backside after Ben Stokes was incorrectly ruled not-out in the last over.
It looks like Australia's love-hate relationship with the DRS is a never-ending saga, as for the second time in as many matches, the team's questionable usage of the technology has cost them a victory. At Lord's, Ben Stokes was struck plumb in front of the stumps, but Nathan Lyon and Tim Paine decided against the review, so he survived. He then went on to score a century and almost won England the match.
On the final ball of the 124th over, Pat Cummins bowled a full-length delivery to Jack Leach from over the wicket, and it struck him on the pads. To the naked eye, the ball looked like it was pitching a good few inches outside the leg-stump, but an extremely optimistic Cummins and Paine decided to go for the review, hoping against hope. Replays showed that the ball did indeed pitch outside leg, and that meant that the Aussies had exhausted all their reviews.
There is no way that this would come back and haunt them, right? Uhm, unfortunately, it did, exactly six balls later. On the final ball of the 125th over, one delivery after the fluffed run-out chance, Lyon bowled an in-drifting off-break to Stokes, and the latter, trying to sweep it, completely missed the ball, and got hit in front of the stumps.
As soon as the ball struck the pads, the Aussies went up in unison, crying their heart out trying to convince the umpire to give it out. However, umpire Joel Wilson remained unmoved and politely turned down the appeal. Moments later, ball-tracking then went on to show that the ball would have indeed gone on to crash into the stumps, meaning that the decision would have been overturned and Australia would have retained the Ashes.
It's funny how such small things can influence the final result of a game, but in a way, with Australia's dodgy decision making throughout the series, this was almost bound to happen, and one can only expect them to learn from this and use technology better starting from the Manchester Test.
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