CricketMarnus Labuschagne Caught In The Slips, Creates A Controversy
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Marnus Labuschagne has benefitted from good fortune in the third Test at the SCG, keeping his wicket despite a protracted and contentious review. After Labuschagne was persuaded to drive a Marco Jansen delivery, the Proteas spinner Simon Harmer appeared to grab it after it hit a thick edge and appeared to be a clean catch from first view.

Harmer did well to position himself behind the rapidly descending edge and to grasp it practically at the same instant that it reached the ground. Paul Reifel, the third umpire, was consulted before the judgement was made, but he softly signalled that it was out.

Labuschagne’s quest to regain the lead in the runs seemed to be coming to an early end after getting run-out in Australia’s mammoth first innings at the MCG. But as third umpire Richard Kettleborough’s assessment went on, it was evident that the 28-year-old grew more sure that his call would remain in the centre.

When Kettleborough signalled that it was not out, he would act accordingly, having already taken his guard for the following delivery. However, many believed that Jansen and South Africa had every reason to be a bit miffed by the choice.


In the commentry box, Michael Hussey instantly gave his opinion on this matter. He said, ““I feel as though the South Africans can be quite aggrieved here. The soft signal was out. I felt like the ball landed on the fingers and he was able to scoop it up.

“His fingers are down, it hits the top of the fingers, pushed it back. I don’t think there’s conclusive evidence there to overturn that decision. That’s just my opinion.”

Anrich Nortje ultimately removed Marnus Labuschagne as he was caught behind off a very challenging rising delivery after scoring 79 runs. With a distinct nick audible and Kyle Verreyne jumping up in celebration immediately following the second ejection, there was no question about it.

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Due to rain and poor lighting in Sydney, play was postponed for a significant portion of the first day. The third session was also abandoned early because of poor lighting. Usman Khawaja (54) and Steve Smith (0) are in the middle for Australia, who finished the day on 2/147 despite the late loss of Labuschagne.

The catch sparked a debate on importance of concerning third umpire. Ricky Ponting said that the catch was clean and the ball generally pushes your hand behind because it has momentum and your hands are stationary.