'Mockery on our game': Bizarre new low in Ashes umpiring 'embarrassment'

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

The final day of a dramatic Ashes Test at Lord’s was momentarily halted on Sunday when a DRS malfunction delayed proceedings.

The Aussies thought they had Ben Stokes trapped lbw off the bowling of Nathan Lyon, sending the decision to DRS after the appeal was turned down on-field.

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However the players were left scratching their heads when the ball-tracking technology appeared to freeze, leaving everyone in the dark about whether or not the ball was hitting the stumps.

After a much longer delay than usual, ball-tracking eventually kicked in and suggested the ball was missing leg stump by some margin.

Some of the Aussie players watching the big screen found the malfunction funny, but skipper Tim Paine didn’t seem to.

The Aussies were very confused. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Some suggested the ball-tracking that was eventually shown wasn’t actually correct.

Macquarie Sport Radio’s Bruce Eva said the ball-tracking shown was “nonsense”, and that Lyon was “either bowling arm-balls or not spinning them a centimetre.”

Former Victoria wicketkeeper and South Australia coach Darren Berry, a vocal critic of the DRS, described the mishap as a “total embarrassment.”

“Get rid of this crap seriously its a mockery on our game. Predicting bounce, angle, spin, swing after striking the pad is just not possible on different pitches with different bowlers etc etc,” Berry tweeted.

“Stop wasting time with failing technology and just let umpires do their jobs. Pick the best.”

Aussies salvage dramatic draw

Super sub Marnus Labuschagne entered Lord's as trivia-night fodder but left as part of Ashes folklore as he helped Australia salvage a draw, which both camps claimed as a moral victory.

Concussion substitute Labuschagne, who replaced Smith in Australia's XI on the morning of day five, scored 59 from 100 balls as the tourists batted out 47.3 overs to draw the second Test.

Australia finished 6-154 after being set a target of 267, with Labuschagne and Travis Head doing most of the heavy lifting as Jofra Archer threatened to bounce England to victory on debut.

Vice-captains Head and Pat Cummins soaked up immense pressure, surviving almost half an hour in fading light to ensure Australia take a 1-0 series lead to Leeds.

Marnus Labuschagne batted superbly. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Head's unbeaten 42 from 90 deliveries was a crucial piece of the stonewall, while England were left to lament a simple slips catch that out-of-form opener Jason Roy dropped when the South Australian was on 22.

The five-Test series continues on Thursday, when Smith is fully expected to be an enforced omission because of the frightening bouncer blow to the neck that Archer inflicted on Saturday.

Australia will retain the urn if they win the third Test.

"It's a great situation to be in. This Test was tight all the way ... I wouldn't say it was a great escape at all," Australia captain Tim Paine said.

"If you would have said (prior to the series that) we are 1-0 up after two Tests, we would have taken that every day."

with AAP