Australia may have retained the Ashes ahead of the fifth and final Test against England, but the series has been miserable for their opening batsman David Warner.
And that misery continued on Friday, as he opened Australia’s first innings following the hosts’ dismissal for 294.
However, as has been the case throughout the series, the 32-year-old didn’t last long, caught by Jonny Bairstow from the bowling of Jofra Archer. Warner was out for five after third umpire Ruchira Palliyaguruge ruled that the Australian had faintly edged the ball.
But Warner’s dismissal was not clear cut with UltraEdge, the sound-based edge detection technology employed by host broadcaster Sky Sports, showing a late spike with the ball near the bat.
To add more doubt to the dismissal, shadows on the pitch showed a gap between bat and ball as the audio spike was registered.
Warner’s left foot was moving at the time the edge and his spikes dragging across the ground could have registered on the stump microphones.
A great start! 🙌
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 13, 2019
The dismissal has divided opinions on social media and in the commentary box, with former Aussie greats Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting disagreeing with the third umpire’s decision.
Geeze I know there’s a spike but I can’t see how he has hit that. Looks like a gap between bat and ball.
— Mark Waugh (@juniorwaugh349) September 13, 2019
Have to hit it to be out! pic.twitter.com/8V0XNqOLUq
— Ryan Harris (@r_harris413) September 13, 2019
“It was interesting just working out if the noise matched up with when the bat passed the ball,” Warne said on Sky Sports. “I didn’t think he hit it when you look at all the technology.
“But then his reaction walking off looked like he wasn’t all that disappointed, so you have to go on the technology and say maybe he got a tiny feather on it.”
Ponting added: “I went off the batsman’s reaction. You think about the series he’s had, he would have been absolutely desperate to be out there the whole time. When the actual finger went up at the change of decision, his reaction didn’t look someone that was that disappointed.
“Everyone heard a noise, the only confusion we can come up with is the little blip on UltraEdge, does it match up at exactly the same time as the ball goes past the bat.
“You would probably argue (the spike) might be before the ball has got to the bat.
“I’ve got a little feeling he might’ve hit it, that little smirk on his face was that he knew he didn’t get away with it.
“If he was 100 per cent sure he didn’t hit it I think we would have seen a more disappointed reaction.”