AUS vs SA: Marnus Labuschagne survives a controversial call on Day 1


Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne survived a controversial call white batting at 70* on Day 1 of the ongoing third Test. Simon Harmer took a great catch in the first slip while diving forward. Labuschagne remained unconvinced and umpires asked for a reply by giving a soft signal out. But the third umpire ruled out the catch and gave not out after a lengthy review call.

From a front-view camera, it seemed that Harmer managed to catch the ball before it touched the ground. But side-on camera proved that the ball was touching the ground before Harmer could put his fingers underneath. The umpire’s soft signal was of out but Richard Kettleborough seemed decisive with a side-on angle of catch and ruled out it as not out.

Richard really had a tough job with that one: Simon Taufel

The former ICC umpire Simon Taufel said that soft signal carries very little weight when it comes to inconclusive or poor TV replays. He also added that the side-on angle is a little better compared to the front-on angle but added that it was a very tough decision for the third umpire as well.

“The ICC did tweak its protocols in this area last year where the soft signal in this particular case with a fair catch would carry less weight only if the TV replays were inconclusive or poor or non-existent. Richard really had a tough job with that one, particularly because the camber of the ground slopes away,” Taufel told Channel 7.

“It does (look like a catch) but that’s where the foreshortening of the lens really becomes a little bit deceptive, when you look at it front-on. I think that’s why Richard started with that side-on shot, because it looks like the ball is dipping down,” Taufel added.

Meanwhile, the rain interrupted the match just three overs after the controversial decision on Labuschagne’s call. Australia lost their Boxing Day hero David Warner with just 12 runs on the scorecard but Usman Khawaja and Labuschagne dominated the first session to help Australia score 138/1 in just 43 overs.