'That was six': Controversy erupts over Steve Smith optical illusion

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Steve Smith, pictured here taking a catch to dismiss Moeen Ali.
Did Steve Smith's foot touch the boundary? Image: Getty

A photo of Steve Smith’s catch to dismiss Moeen Ali in the third T20 between Australia and England has sparked claims the Aussies might have gotten away with one.

Smith showed some nifty footwork to send Moeen packing after taking a catch near the boundary in Southampton.

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Sensing his foot was close to the boundary, Smith tossed the ball in the air before stepping over, coming back into play before completing the catch.

The third umpire gave the dismissal the green light, but on optical illusion in a photo of the key moment had some fans questioning the decision.

Despite replays showing Smith’s heel never made contact with the boundary, the photo appears to suggest otherwise.

Former England captain Mike Atherton said a shadow of Smith’s foot made it look worse.

“There was a moment there where you might think the foot had touched the boundary edge but it was actually the shadow,” Atherton said in commentary for Sky Sports.

Mitch Marsh the saviour in Aussie win

Meanwhile, Mitch Marsh thrived on the pressure of a tense run-chase to guide Australia home by five wickets.

Aaron Finch's team still had plenty to play for in Southampton, despite England entering the clash with an unassailable 2-0 series lead.

The victory with three balls to spare ensured Australia retained the No.1 T20 world ranking, ahead of England.

There were some tense moments in the chase, including a mid-innings collapse of 4-30, but Marsh's composed pairing with fellow allrounder Ashton Agar steered Australia past England's modest total of 6-145.

Steve Smith, pictured here in action during the third T20 against England.
Steve Smith knew it was out. (Photo by Paul Childs/Getty Images)

Recalled to the side for his first game of the series with stars David Warner and Pat Cummins rested, Marsh's assured unbeaten 39 got Australia back on track after a bamboozling spell of 3-21 from Adil Rashid.

The England leg-spinner claimed the key scalps of Finch (39), power-hitter Glenn Maxwell and Smith to strike fear of another possible meltdown after Australia's two-run defeat in game one.

Marsh admitted he was a bit “jittery” early in his innings after not playing an international game for six months, but he quickly settled.

“I loved tonight. I loved finishing off the game for the boys and contributing to a great win,” the 28-year-old said.

“It's hard spot to bat, finishing the game, you find yourself in different situations.

“I was thinking about it and just loving the experience of that again, being out there and being under pressure, that's why we play and train hard.

“Just rapt to be able to contribute after a long layoff to a big win.”

with AAP