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Cricket: Bizarre Marsh dismissal sparks controversy

Mitchell Marsh departs after being dismissed. Photo / Getty
Mitchell Marsh departs after being dismissed. Photo / Getty

Trans-Tasman cricketing rivalry took another heated turn last night in Hamilton with a controversy to rank alongside the Trevor Chappell underarm, the Martin Snedden catch-that-wasn't and the Scott Styris-Mitchell Johnson helmet-butting.

The pendulum to New Zealand's 55-run victory to decide the Chappell-Hadlee series swung on a moment which will be debated ad nauseam.

In the 34th over Matt Henry delivered an attempted yorker to Mitchell Marsh who was set on 41 at a run a ball. Australia were 164 for six chasing 247.

Marsh hit the ball into his boot and Henry caught it in his follow-through.

He gave a half-hearted appeal - to the ether rather than the umpire - and returned to his mark.

Then the crowd saw the big screen replay and erupted. New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum consulted umpire Ian Gould about a retrospective catch. Gould consulted with the television official and Marsh, after an interminable wait, was dismissed.


The batsman fumed as he exited. It wasn't a dead ball because Henry hadn't started his run-up. The key question in the aftermath is over the umpiring process. There was no question over the veracity of the catch.

Perhaps it was a case where the benefits of technology, via the big screen, reached their capacity.

"I don't think the process was ideal, both teams would agree on that," McCullum said. "But in the end the right decision was made.

"I saw Gup [Martin Guptill] appeal as well, and then it came up on the screen, which was not ideal.

"I yelled to Gunner [umpire Ian Gould] what the ... is going on. He didn't think we'd appealed. The only thing I said was 'the right decision needs to be made'. I'm not reviewing for something like that, in the end that's the umpires' job. Those bump balls are really difficult, which is probably why the hesitation was there.

"They decided to review it which is pretty normal in that situation.

McCullum said he had no heated discussions with the Australian players.

"There was no animosity between us at all."

Australian captain Steve Smith said neither of the umpires had heard an appeal so he expected the game to go on.

"Well it was supposed to go on. And after what came up on the big screen they stopped the game for a bit and Brendon came in and got involved. It was shown on the big screen that there was a half appeal so they went upstairs.

"I was pretty disappointed with the whole process. I think that the New Zealand players genuinely didn't believe it to be out."

Ironically McCullum criticised Smith for "showing his immaturity" for refusing to withdraw an appeal against England's Ben Stokes for obstructing the field in an ODI last year.

"They're well within their rights that's for sure," Smith said. "I've been informed by [match referee] Chris Broad that the ball isn't dead until the bowler starts his run-up.

"I think he was out, there's no doubt about that. I just think there needs to be a look into the game. I don't think decisions should be made coming across on the big screen. There needs to be better processes in place."

- NZ Herald

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