Australia's win over Bangladesh at the Cricket World Cup was tinged with controversy on Saturday after David Warner appeared to be wrongly given out. Warner made 53 as Australia produced their highest successful run chase in World Cup history, with Mitch Marsh blasting 177 not out to reach Bangladesh's total of 8-306 with 32 balls to spare and eight wickets in hand.
But Warner might be kicking himself that he didn't dispute his dismissal after hitting an easy catch to Najmul Hossain Shanto at mid-on. Shanto took the catch cleanly but it slipped out of his grasp as he was throwing it up to celebrate.
It was almost a carbon copy of Ben Stokes' gaffe in the Ashes when he missed a chance to dismiss Steve Smith by dropping the ball while trying to throw it up. On that occasion Smith was given not out, but on Saturday there were no disputes raised about the Warner incident.
The Aussie batter appeared to turn and walk back to the pavilion before Shanto let go of the ball, meaning he might not have actually seen it. Ricky Ponting said in commentary: “Actually, we might have a look at this. Warner’s turned his back and walked away.
“It was chipped straight to mid-on and the fielder’s taken in but in the act of throwing the ball in the air, it has come out of his hands. Will this be counted as a completed catch or not?”
But the on-field umpires allowed it to stand, and because Warner didn't protest he had to head off. Ponting said Warner was “completely oblivious” to what happened, but plenty of fans weren't impressed on social media.
Under ICC laws, a fielder must have full control of the ball and their body even while celebrating a catch. As we saw at the 1999 World Cup when Hershelle Gibbs infamously dropped Steve Waugh, a catch is not complete if you drop the ball during the celebration.
Yes, similar to Gibbs 99 WC. But Warner dismissed. That catch was not complete imo.
— Srinivas R (@srini_r_twit) November 11, 2023
— Fourth Umpire (@UmpireFourth) November 11, 2023
Warner was not out. That was not a valid catch.
— Kshitij Ojha (@Kshitij070) November 11, 2023
Warner walked. If he asked for the umpire to check the catch, he would still be out there.
— Ben (@superhero_ben) November 11, 2023
— Johny Bava (@johnybava) November 11, 2023
Mitch Marsh makes Aussie cricket history at World Cup
Thankfully for the Aussies it didn't come back to haunt them, with Marsh making the third-highest score by an Australian at a men's World Cup. The emotional knock came after the death of Marsh's grandfather Ross, which saw him fly home to Perth two weeks ago and miss the match against England.
It gave Australia a seventh-straight win at the World Cup and plenty of momentum heading into the semi-finals. The Aussies will take on South Africa on Thursday for a place in the final, while India will face New Zealand in the other semi-final on Wednesday.
Australia's only two losses at the World Cup came in their first two games - against India and South Africa. "That is the way we want to play our cricket - Me coming in at No.3 and applying pressure," Marsh said.
"I knew when Heady (Travis Head) came back (from injury) I was going to go down to No.3, so the most important thing was to play with that same intent and back myself. We probably had a few games where I lost my intent. So it was really good to learn quickly and back myself."
Head went early on Saturday for just 10, before Steve Smith made a timely 63 off 64 balls. With Glenn Maxwell set to come back into the side for the semi-final against South Africa, Smith appears to have ensured that he won't be dropped.
Smith appears to be fighting with Marnus Labuschagne and Marcus Stoinis for one spot in the XI. Labuschagne and Stoinis didn't get a chance to bat on Saturday, but the former affected two brilliant run-outs in the field.
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