Dylan Cleaver: Great moments in cricket history that almost happened

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Some of the great moments in cricket history might have ended differently if the umpires of yesteryear had access to video review:

1. Tied test ends in rancour
NZ vs West Indies, 1st test, 1980, Carisbrook

A controversial referred leg before decision against Stephen Boock saw this acrimonious test end in a tie. There was none of the magic associated with cricket's only other tied test, at the Gabba in the summer of 1960-61, with both teams refusing to shake hands and stumps being threatened to be inserted in places for which they were not intended.

At the start of the last day New Zealand were expected to coast to victory against the Windies, fresh off an all-conquering tour of Australia.

Chasing 104 for victory after the Windies added just two to their overnight total of 210-9, there was little indication of the drama to follow.

John Wright and Geoff Howarth managed 11 each, with the latter having his helmet removed twice, and the rest of top order collapsed. When Peter Webb went leg before to Joel Garner it was 54-7.

John Parker was removed in bizarre fashion. He gloved a ball through to keeper Deryck Murray and immediately inspected his gloves but John Hastie was unmoved, forcing the Windies to challenge with the inevitable result being Parker's dismissal.

That fired the Calypso kings up further but Richard Hadlee (17, eighth out at 73) and Lance Cairns (19, ninth out at 100), got New Zealand within striking distance.

Boock and Troup, with the help of two byes, got the total to 103 before Garner hit Boock on the pads. Troup scrambled through for the leg bye that would have won the match but the West Indies challenged again.

The third umpire, allegedly under pressure from Windies' manager Willie Rodriguez who threatened a diplomatic incident should he turn down the appeal, gave in despite the ball appearing to spear down leg side.

In the first innings the West Indies had made a mockery of the referral system, challenging every leg before decision that went against them, even after they had used their allotted two unsuccessful appeals.

2. The Bootsie Edgar final
Australia vs NZ, WSC 3rd final, MCG, Feb 1, 1981

In a great display of pacing an innings, left-handed opener Bruce Edgar led new Zealand to victory in the pivotal third World Series final here today.

Edgar scored 94 not out as New Zealand comfortably overhauled Australia's underwhelming 210.

The big drama, however, occurred in Australia's innings when Greg Chappell, the only player to find his timing, was dismissed to a wonderful diving catch by Martin Snedden.

Chappell, who made a fluent 52, stood his ground, no doubt playing on the weakness of umpires Dick Weser and Peter Cronin, who claimed to be looking for one-shorts.

After video review, however, Chappell was dismissed.

Had he been allowed to continue, Australia could have been looking at a total in the mid-230s. That would have given Chappell an opportunity to use his cunning captaincy skills to thwart the Edgar-led Kiwis.

3. Jones' heroics all for nothing
India vs Australia, 1st test, Chennai, Sept 22, 1986

What must Dean Jones had been thinking as he watched the final ball of this test squeezed backward of square by bunny Maninder Singh for a single, giving India an improbable one-wicket victory?

On days one and two of this test, Jones wrote himself into folklore by compiling one of the gutsiest double centuries in history.

Vomiting regularly and soaking himself in his own urine, Jones scored 210 off 330 balls as Australia piled up 574-7 declared. He had wanted to retire ill but a taunt from captain Allan Border (106) kept him at the crease. "We'll get a real Australian out here then," Border uttered when Jones asked if he could retire.

Jones was taken to the hospital after his knock and could not dream then that it would end up in vain.

However Border's bold second innings victory left India a tantalising target of 348 off 87 overs.

Sunil Gavaskar (90), Mohinder Armanath (51) and Mohammad Azharuddin (42) kept both teams interested but with spinners Ray Bright (5-94) and Greg Matthews (4-147) ripping through the tail it looked like a draw was the best India could hope for. Ravi Shastri, however, played a great cameo, smashing an unbeaten 48 off 40 balls.

With Shastri on strike for the final over from Matthews and only four runs required, India was suddenly favourite. He blocked the first and took two off the next, further pushing the odds in India's favour. The next ball he pushed the ball and took a single, leaving Maninder on strike.

He kept out the fourth ball and on the fifth was hit on the back leg. A huge appeal was upheld by Vikram Raju, perhaps the bravest man in India. The batsman challenged straight away and replays showed the ball was clearly missing.

That would have made it just the second tied test in history but Australia's heartache was compounded next ball when Maninder squeezed an inside edge behind square and Shastri scampered through for a quick single.

4. Biggest upset since Goliath met David
Australia vs NZ, 3rd test, WACA, Dec 4, 2001

Even the incompetence of Zimbabwean umpire Ian Robinson could not prevent New Zealand from a famous series victory against mighty Australia.

Stephen Fleming's men wrapped up a 77-run victory here, surviving a late onslaught from Adam Gilchrist (87 not out).

Chasing 440 to win, Australia started today at 69-2. Hayden (57) fell at 130 and Mark Waugh's (86) defiance ended at 195 but the key wicket was the barnacle-like Steve Waugh. He was on 13 and the total 203 when he slashed at Daniel Vettori. Every man, woman, child and dog within a three kilometre radius heard the nick except Robinson who gave Waugh not out. The video umpire quickly addressed the situation.

Unbelievably, he was called on again when Jason Gillespie gloved one down the leg side off Cairns. Again Robinson was left with egg on his beard

The victory was set up by New Zealand's first innings 534-9, with debutant Lou Vincent (104), Fleming (105), Nathan Astle (156 not out) and Adam Parore (110).

Vettori's 6-86 allowed the visitors a first innings lead of 187.

It was New Zealand's first victory in Australia since 1987, another test that hinged on the third umpire after Andrew Jones had been given out caught down the leg side by Greg 'The Liar' Dyer. Late in the test Danny Morrison had Craig McDermott leg before to win the test but once again, only after intervention from the booth."

5. Ockers retain stranglehold on Ashes
England vs Australia, 2nd test, Edgbaston, Aug 7, 2005

A brilliant rearguard partnership by Brett Lee and Michael Kasprowicz moved Australia to within a draw of retaining the Ashes.

Australia, who have held the urn since 1989, lead the five-match series 2-0. At the start of this fourth day's play, all the money would have been on England to even the series.

Resuming at 175-8 chasing 282 for victory, Shane Warne and Brett Lee took the score through to 220 before Warne (42) stood on his stumps while turning Andrew Flintoff to leg.

That brought in Kasprowicz and he and Lee started inching their way towards the total. The capacity crowd was on tenterhooks and thought they had secured a famous victory when, with three runs needed for victory, Kasprowicz appeared to glove Steve Harmison down the leg side to Geraint Jones. New Zealand umpire Billy Bowden agreed and the English players celebrated.

Kasprowicz appealed, however, and the video umpire correctly adjudged his hand to have been off the handle when the ball struck his glove. It was the tightest of calls and the Edgbaston crowd were apoplectic when Kasprowicz was given the green light.

Next over, Lee tucked Flintoff to the boundary for the famous victory.

- NZ Herald

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