Australia’s desperation evident in umpire clash
MELBOURNE: Australian skipper Ricky Ponting clashed heatedly with the match umpires over an unsuccessful video review as his team struggled to contain England in the fourth Ashes Test on Monday.
Ponting argued with Aleem Dar for some time and then spoke with the other umpire Tony Hill after Kevin Pietersen was adjudged not to have edged Ryan Harris for a caught behind.
Pietersen was on 49 when wicketkeeper Brad Haddin persuaded Ponting to go for a review.
But “hot spot” replays showed no edge and Pietersen stayed, much to the annoyance of Ponting, who argued heatedly with both umpires and had sharp words with Pietersen about the decision, believing he had made contact with the ball.
It was the first of two reviews to go against Australia before tea on the second day of the fourth Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, with Dar appearing to also use the review procedure to rule that Matt Prior was not out.
Sections of the crowd gave Ponting a disapproving slow-handclap as he argued at length with Dar. Australian fast bowler Peter Siddle weighed in, wagging a finger at the Pakistani match official.
Pietersen had played and missed at a Harris delivery, with the ball going between bat and pad.
Wicketkeeper Haddin appeared to be the only Australian player who appealed for the “catch” and persuaded Ponting to call for the review.
Replays of the “hot spot” technology showed a bright mark at the bottom of Pietersen’s bat, but not near where the ball had passed his bat.
However, Pietersen only made two more runs before Siddle trapped him lbw.
Ponting voiced his frustration during the first Brisbane Test when England opener Alastair Cook refused to walk after the Australian skipper took what he claimed was a fair catch low to the ground.
Ponting said the referral of disputed catches to inadequate technology was a “blight on the game”.
Ponting’s “catch”, when Cook was on 209, was referred to the third umpire but television replays were inconclusive and the English opener went on to make an unbeaten 235.
In another technology intervention in the last over before Monday’s tea break, Prior had made five and was starting to walk from the crease after he nicked Mitchell Johnson to the slips.
But Dar called Prior back and the uncertain umpire called for a video review, which showed Johnson had over-stepped for a no ball.