MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia captain Steve Smith will seek an explanation from match referee Chris Broad over a Decision Review System malfunction during his team’s march to victory over West Indies in the second test on Tuesday.
Australia won by 177 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, sealing the series 2-0 with a game in hand, but a failure of the ball-tracking technology shone the spotlight on the often divisive DRS.
With West Indies on 210-5 and battling to keep the match alive, paceman Peter Siddle cannoned a delivery into captain Jason Holder’s pads and Smith demanded a review after umpire Marais Erasmus waved away the appeal.
The third umpire went through the usual protocols of checking for a no-ball and a nick on the bat, but there was an awkward pause as the ‘Hawk-Eye’ ball-tracking failed to display on the scoreboard.
Moments passed before the malfunction sunk in and a resigned Erasmus shrugged that the DRS had failed.
Australia were allowed to keep the review and play went on, but a few overs later the technology was back online. Its projection of the delivery, beamed on the scoreboard and TV screens, endorsed Erasmus’s not out decision. “We’ve made a few enquiries and we’re going to talk to the match referee later on,” Smith told reporters. “But it’s not ideal if it’s shut down and not working.”
West Indies skipper Holder said he found the incident “quitesurprising”.
“I think the quality of test-playing nations like Australia is pretty much up there with all of the technology,” he added. “It was just unfortunate (it happened) at that stage.”
Smith was otherwise satisfied with the day and how his bowlers grinded out the win on an unresponsive pitch.
He felt they had made hard work of it, however, having let three wickets go begging due to no-balls from stepping over the crease.
Paceman James Pattinson reprieved Carlos Brathwaite twice on day three and the debutant paceman went on to score 59. Josh Hazlewood also over-stepped on day four, letting Darren Bravo off the hook on 12.
“We made it difficult for ourselves, overstepping, we had to take 23 wickets, not 20,” Smith remarked.
The captain suggested bowling changes were afoot for the third test, with paceman Peter Siddle nursing a sore foot and the possibility of a second slow bowler coming into play on the traditionally spin-friendly Sydney Cricket Ground pitch.
“Obviously we go to Sri Lanka later on in the year (2016) where there is a good chance we’ll see two spinners playing, or in the touring party,” he said.
“It’d be good to see a second spinner play and see what he has got to offer.”
(Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)