Steve Smith narrowly escapes England’s stand-in fielder’s sensational run… before being caught brilliantly by Jonny Bairstow
- Steve Smith was given a brief reprieve after it appeared he had run out of
- Sub George Ealham and Jonny Bairstow combined to stump the former captain
- But he didn’t turn himself in, only to be sacked by the England goalkeeper afterwards
Steve Smith narrowly escaped a sensational run from England substitute fielder George Ealham during the second day of the fifth Ashes Test match at the Oval.
It was almost reminiscent of the firing of Ricky Ponting in Trent Bridge in 2005 Ashes and, ironically, the former Australian captain was in the comments on Sky Sports at the time the incident occurred.
The decision, which has sparked much discussion online, saw Smith hit a Chris Woakes ball halfway up the wicket.
On TV coverage, the ball appears to be going wide, with the 34-year-old and his batting partner, Pat Cummins, trying to get back into the box in time for two runs.
But appearing out of the picture of television coverage was Earlham, who came in to launch a rocket at Jonny Bairstow.
Steve Smith (pictured) narrowly survived a run on the second day of the fifth Ashes Test
Smith (left) was stumped by Jonny Bairstow (right) who took in a sensational pitch from England stand-in gardener George Ealham.
Ealham celebrated with his team after his sensational field game, but the TMO decided that Smith had not been without
The England keeper took the catch and swung his hands at the wicket as Smith launched into his line with the bat.
The decision went to the third referee, Nitin Menon, with Ponting initially saying ‘this could be out’ before asking the question everyone in the stands was thinking ‘Has Smith earned his ground?’
It was a very difficult decision for TMO to make, with millimeters between Smith’s bat and the crease.
But it appeared that Bairstow had made contact with the stumps before catching the ball. Under Law 29, the wicket was not fairly removed and the decision was subsequently thrown out as ‘not out’.
Meanwhile, Ponting, who had notably been sacked by backup outfielder Gary Pratt in a similar incident, was on hand to tell Smith that he should have learned from his mistakes.
Bairstow (right) appeared to hit the balls without the ball in his hands as Smith (left) dove into his crease.
Chris Woakes would bowl again at Smith (centre), but the Australian batsman caught a top edge and sent his shot into the air.
Bairstow (pictured) was again on hand to take the catch with the wicketkeeper brilliantly stepping back to dismiss Smith
He recalled the sacking of Ricky Ponting at Trent Bridge in 2005, where the former Australia captain was also sacked by an England substitute.
“The lesson is, don’t go up against the substitute you don’t know anything about…the guy covered 100 meters in 8.5 seconds,” Ponting said on Sky Sports.
Woakes would attack Bairstow again soon after, with the Australian swinging his bat again towards the middle of the wicket.
Slashing the ball wildly, he caught a top edge and sent the ball airborne behind his wicket.
Bairstow was on hand once again and this time he made no mistake, racing back to take an impressive catch on the run to dismiss Smith for 71 for 123 balls.
Woakes would return to see off his replacement, Todd Murphy, with a BPN, before Australian captain Cummins was caught by his counterpart Ben Stokes on the edge in front of Joe Root.
It means that at the close of the second day, Australia narrowly outscored England by 12 runs, finishing their first innings on 295 all out.