Australia have been left to rue their poor use of the DRS after a ‘diabolical’ umpiring howler cost them victory in the third Ashes Test.
Umpire Joel Wilson shocked Australia for a third-straight Test, but Tim Paine only has himself to blame after wasting a review that could have retained the Ashes.
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Wilson shook his head as Australia went up in unison for a Nathan Lyon lbw shout in the penultimate over of the nerve-jangling third Test, at which point the tourists held a two-run lead.
Ball-tracking replays showed why, confirming Wilson erred and the on-field verdict could have been overturned on review.
Ben Stokes disputed that verdict, arguing "DRS has got that completely wrong ... cannot believe it was three reds", but the match-winning allrounder's opinion would have counted for zero if Paine had the power to send it upstairs.
However, Australia's skipper had already burned both referrals as his ineffectual use of the system continued to prove a talking point in the series.
Paine insisted Wilson's verdict, which comes after the Trinidadian's contentious ruling on a catch as third umpire at Lord's and some eight overturned decisions in the Edgbaston series opener, was "irrelevant".
But the keeper struggled to hide his disbelief, noting in a post-match interview with Nine that he "can't fathom why or how that wasn't given out".
"England had two referrals, so if it was given out the correct decision would have been made upstairs," Paine said.
The veteran then told reporters he "saw it live, that's all I needed to see".
"I don't want to watch that again," Paine said.
"To sit down and single out an umpire is unnecessary. He is no different to everyone else, he is allowed to make mistakes.
"I've got every review wrong, so I'm going to give up and give it to someone else."
Fans were absolutely seething on social media, with many blaming both Wilson and Paine.
Well yeah despite all that we did the LBW on stokes was as plumb as it gets. Embarrassing disgraceful umpiring.— Mark Alvey (@alvey5) August 25, 2019
Absolute disgrace, in situations like that - the umpire has nothing to lose by (correctly) giving the LBW out, given England would always review and had one up their sleeve.— James (@james_finnimore) August 25, 2019
Stokes plumb LBW needing 2 runs to win given not out, the standard of umpiring is an absolute disgrace— Mark Alvey (@alvey5) August 25, 2019
That lbw decision was diabolical, nothing short of it. But given the umpiring has been so far below par this whole series, it was ludicrous to waste one just moments earlier. There was always a chance of that happening. #Ashes— Scott Bailey (@ScottBaileyAAP) August 25, 2019
That is a disgrace. How was that not LBW? Full credit to Stokes but that was plumb and Joel should never umpire a test again. #Ashes— Tim Stoney (@timstoney) August 25, 2019
Time for cricket umpires to turn into facilitators and automate all decisions. The umpiring in this #ashes series has been a disgrace and is starting to affect matches. Props to Ben Stokes class innings.— theCoon (@iAMtheCOON95) August 25, 2019
One of the greatest innings you will ever see but Australia robbed of a test match win by horrendous captaincy and even worse umpiring. What a disgrace. #Ashes— Matt Thorne (@mthorne94) August 25, 2019
Wilson’s series from hell
Wilson's struggles in Birmingham led to calls for English and Australian umpires, who make up more than half of the elite panel, to adjudicate in the Ashes.
That debate will continue but Australia will review their reviews rather than focus on an umpire playing no further part in the five-Test series.
England were 2-140 when Paine referred an lbw shout from Lyon in an effort to dismiss Joe Denly, while they were eight runs short of victory when the desperate captain rolled the dice on an lbw appeal from Pat Cummins.
"Spur of the moment (decision) .... have a dabble at it," Paine recalled of his second review.
"I got it wrong."
Stokes suggested the drama "shows how crucial it is to make sure you use your reviews, when you get to a situation like that, you still need one.
"If they had one, they would have used it and ended up winning," the allrounder said.