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Ben Stokes’ Controversial Celebration Left Steve Smith Off the Hook

During the final Ashes Test, a significant moment arose involving England captain Ben Stokes. Which could potentially impact the match’s outcome. In a rather bizarre fashion, Stokes dropped Steve Smith, creating a moment of tension and excitement for both teams and cricket fans worldwide. The unexpected turn of events added an element of unpredictability to the game, leaving everyone eagerly anticipating the consequences it might have on the overall result of the match and the series.

The Incident of the Ben Stokes Controversy

Before rain halted play after lunch, the fifth Ashes Test’s final day had been just as unpredictable as the rest of the series. David Warner and Usman Khawaja racked up over 150 runs for the first wicket as Australia chased down a total of 384 to take the lead early on.

However, England, which is behind Australia 2-1. They were trying to avoid their first home series loss in more than 20 years. Came storming back when Chris Woakes removed Khawaja and Warner in back-to-back overs. Shortly after, Mark Wood acquired Marnus Labuschagne, and Australia saw their score increase from 140/0 to 169/3.

Ben Stokes' Controversial Celebration Lets Steve Smith Off the Hook

The Australian team was then stabilized by Steve Smith and Travis Head. Their partnership for the fourth wicket was worth 69 runs off 102 balls. As the two teams departed the pitch for lunch. Just before the session came to a close, however, a strange chain of circumstances that could have a significant impact on the series’ conclusion saved Smith.

The event happened off the first ball of Moeen Ali’s final over of the session. When Smith made a defense, the ball looped up behind him and to Stokes’ leg slip. While Stokes was celebrating, the ball suddenly popped out of his hands. The England captain then reviewed the play while grinning sarcastically.

Smith had a glove on it, and more replays revealed that Stokes had actually taken a one-handed catch above his head before knocking the ball off his leg and celebrating by throwing it up. Following a protracted conversation between Stokes and the umpires both during and after the over. It was determined that England had lost a review because Stokes had mishandled the ball and dropped the catch.

What is Mandated by Law

Earlier in the series, third umpire Marais Erasmus overturned Mitchell Starc’s catch of England’s opener, Ben Duckett. Because it was determined that Starc had forced the ball into the ground after collecting the catch. The law effectively states that for a dismissal to be considered legal. There must be sufficient proof that the catcher was in complete control of the ball once it was pouched.

According to Law 33.3, “the act of making a catch shall commence when the ball first contacts the person of the fielder and shall terminate when the fielder obtains complete control over both the ball and his/her own movement.” In both instances, the umpires determined that the catchers were not fully in control of the ball after retaining it. And as a result, the hitters were able to continue hitting.

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