During the third T20I between England and Australia, former captain Steve Smith’s catch in the deep had been a subject of intense scrutiny.
After winning the toss, Australian captain Aaron Finch opted to take the field first and applied pressure on the English batters early.
England lost their way after the brief partnership between Jonny Bairstow (55) and Dawid Malan (21). Post-Bairstow’s dismissal, England were reduced to 94-4.
In came Moeen Ali who entertained the spectators with his cameo of 23, which came off just 21 deliveries. He smashed two fours in the process.
Smith’s controversial catch
In his pursuit for his first maximum, Ali hooked a short delivery from Mitchell Starc. In all likelihood, the ball was set to travel over the fence. But Smith, positioned at deep mid-wicket, managed to pluck a catch out of nowhere.
Smith managed to maintain his balance by keeping himself inside the fence. The Aussies celebrated the dismissal as Smith remained affirmative about the catch by raising his finger.
The replays, however, showed that a part of Smith’s boots touched the ropes. After consultation with the third umpire, Ali was eventually adjudged ‘Out’.
England could only post a below-par score of 145 in their allotted twenty overs. They lost six wickets in the process. Australia went on to chase the target with relative ease and won the match by five wickets.
Smith’s catch turned out to be a point of debate during the post-mortem of the game. Many criticized Smith for his action and called him a ‘cheat’ again.
Let’s look at how the Twitterverse reacted:
Steve Smith with a smart catch in the deep 🙌
— Kayo Sports (@kayosports) September 8, 2020
Steve Smith pre cons for cheating still wearing that guilty look – exaggeration of catch added to doubt looked like his heel touched boundary – they just didn’t want another scandal ! pic.twitter.com/ATmKWdxroD
— Master Of Reality (@InstantKarmaNow) September 8, 2020
I can’t stand Steve Smith the fat prick. Like even watching him take a catch really annoys is.
— Jonny Lavery (@JonnyLavery99) September 8, 2020
Piers it was a six Steve Smith done it again pic.twitter.com/ODCvsSeMZK
— Mohammad Tanveer (@cr7federet) September 8, 2020
@englandcricket i think M.Ali was not out in Last match against australia.see the replay
Catch by Steve Smith
— Kuldipsinh Chudasama (@KuldipsinhChud7) September 9, 2020
Series over … dead rubber … B team … etc. Would like to see a better camera angle on that Steve Smith catch though. It looked like he touched the boundary with his heel
— Darryll King (@dazzler1878) September 8, 2020
It is not the first time Smith’s ‘spirit of cricket’ and ethics has been questioned in his cricketing career.
Back in 2018, Smith, along with David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, got involved in the infamous ‘Sandpaper Gate’ incident leaving the cricketing world in shock.