In another dramatic moment, England skipper Ben Stokes failed to keep hold of a catch of ace Australia batter Steve Smith at the stroke of lunch on Day 5 of the ongoing fifth Ashes Test at The Oval in London.
The bizarre occurrence happened as Stokes sprang up to grab the ball after Moeen Ali’s delivery touched Smith’s glove when the Aussie moved forward to defend. The all-rounder held the ball but while coming down, the ball slipped out as his hand touched down on his right knee.
The hosts had sent it for review after the on-field umpire’s decision did not favour them. The third umpire agreed with the decision since he deemed that the English all-rounder was not entirely in control of the ball during the catch and Smith remained not out.
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Rain stops the play, Australia need 146 runs to clinch the Ashes
Speaking of the fifth Ashes Test, openers David Warner and Usman Khawaja handed Australia the advantage in the fourth innings at Kennington Oval, as rain forced early stumps on Day 4. Riding on their heroics, Australia found themselves in a good position while chasing 384 runs, with the duo contributing 135 runs for the opening wicket.
Khawaja and Warner attempted to stabilize Australia’s innings after resuming 135-0 on Day 5 after their excellent partnership on the previous day. However, Warner was dismissed for 60 by Chris Woakes’ rising delivery and edged a catch to wicketkeeper-batter Jonny Bairstow. Meanwhile, Woakes struck again in his next over, trapping Khawaja lbw for 72.
Marnus Labuschagne, on the other hand, nibbled at an outswinger from speedster Mark Wood, and Zak Crawley made a fine low grab at second slip. However, Australia reached 238/3 at lunch, with Smith and Tavis Head in the middle. Smith and Head are unbeaten on 40 and 31, respectively, as Australia seek to win the Ashes for the first time in England since 2001