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Explained: Out or not out, the rules behind Marcus Stoinis' dismissal

Last updated on 12 Oct 2023 | 04:16 PM
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Explained: Out or not out, the rules behind Marcus Stoinis' dismissal

Stoinis was caught down the leg side against South Africa in Match 10 of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. Was it out or not out? What does the law state?

Australia were in deep trouble against a formidable South African pace attack. Chasing 312 in the 10th match of the Cricket World Cup, the Aussies found themselves at 5/65. 

Marcus Stoinis, Australia's last recognized batter, was caught behind in the 18th over. What was so controversial about it? He was caught cleanly. But, the issue was not the catch. Does anyone remember Michael Kasprowicz's dismissal in the 2005 Ashes series in Birmingham? Or even Rangana Herath in the 2014 Lord’s Test against England.

Yup! Something similar happened. Stoinis, looking to evade a back of a-length ball that was angled into him, got a glove on the way. Quinton de Kock, the wicketkeeper, moved to his left and took a superb catch.

However, the business end umpire were not convinced and decided against the bowler's appeal. Kagiso Rabada insisted Temba Bavuma, the South African skipper, to review it. There was no doubt in the TV umpire's mind that there was a glove on it; even Stoinis perhaps knew it. However, the question was, was his glove in touch with the bat when it made contact?

After several replays, TV umpire Richard Kettleborough thought Stoinis' right glove was still in contact with the bat when the ball grazed. However, the replays were inconclusive to rule against the on-field decision. 

*Screen shot credit: Hotstar

Looking at the above screengrab, Stoinis' right glove was clearly off the bat and nowhere close to touching his left glove (top hand) while the ball grazed the right glove (bottom hand). According to the MCC law 5.6 - Contact with the bat - This should have been ruled not out. 

What does the law 5.6 state?

Rule 5.6.1 reference to the bat shall imply that the bat is held in the batter's hand or a glove worn on his/her hand unless stated otherwise.

Additionally, in the sub-sections of 5.6.2, there is more detail on the contact of the bat: the bat itself the batter's hand holding the bat any part of a glove worn on the batter's hand holding the bat

In Stoinis's dismissal, all these three conditions were looked into. In the replays, umpire Kettleborough felt his bottom hand (right) was in contact with the top hand (left). Another angle told a different story.  

Previously, in the 10th over of the chase, Steve Smith was controversially adjudged LBW, and it was the same bowler. A ball angled into Smith hit the upper flaps of the left leg (front pad). In real-time, it looked like it slid down or maximum clip the stumps. But, once again, the third umpire ruled it against the on-field officials. In any case, this was more down to the technology than the umpire.  

Whoever watched the game, what do you think? Were Smith and Stoinis robbed off a wicket, or was it a fair decision? 

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