Bizarre optical illusion confounds cricket fans

Cricket fans have absolutely lost it over an optical illusion that was broadcast during the England v Sri Lanka Test match.

In the second session on day two of the Test, Dinesh Chandimal faced a delivery from Jack Leach and sent it to Moeen Ali who was fielding at deep cover.

But what happened next left some fans completely baffled, others amazed, and a handful watching replays to work out exactly what happened.

The bizarre optical illusion broadcast during the England v Sri Lanka Test match. Pic: Fox Sports

As Moeen Ali fielded the ball at deep cover, he proceeded to throw the ball back towards the wicket-keeper – or so we thought based on the television coverage.

Once it leaves Ali’s hand, the camera cuts to the wicket-keeper to anticipate the arrival of the ball.

But instead, viewers are caught off-guard by a helmet arriving instead of the ball – a bizarre illusion only seen by those watching the broadcast.

Some viewers took to social media to jokingly make the claim that Moeen Ali had somehow turned the cricket ball into a helmet whilst it was in flight:

“Forget water into wine, Moeen Ali is out here turning balls into helmets in mid-air,” one user wrote.

“I knew Moeen Ali was good, but check this out! He throws in a cricket ball & turns it into a helmet by the time it gets to the stumps,” another added.

The amusing optical allusion added a touch of comic relief to what was otherwise a one-sided affair, with England putting Sri Lanka on the ropes early.

Jennings ton puts Sri Lanka on the ropes

Keaton Jennings’s first century since his 2016 debut helped England put Sri Lanka on the ropes in the first Test on Thursday, setting the hosts a daunting 462 to win at notoriously low-scoring Galle.

The visitors declared at 322 for six on day three with Jennings 146 not out after a patient innings that saw the under-pressure opener deal deftly with the hosts’ spin attack.

At the close, Sri Lanka were 15 without loss after Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva hung on for seven overs, leaving a further 447 to make at a ground where no team has successfully chased more than 99.

England, with a 139-run first-innings lead and 38-0 overnight, lost a somewhat shaky Rory Burns, brought in to fill the huge shoes of the retired Alastair Cook, in the morning session, run out for 23.

England’s Keaton Jennings plays a shot during the third day of the opening Test match between Sri Lanka and England at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in Galle on November 8, 2018. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP)

Moeen Ali, out first ball in the first innings, fared little better in the second, driving straight to Rangana Herath at mid-on off Dilruwan Perera for three.

Herath, in his last game before retiring having got his landmark 100th wicket at Galle, then got England captain Joe Root out for the second time in the match, caught behind for three.

But Jennings looked comfortable against the spin of Perera and the others. An LBW appeal when Jennings was on 58 was turned down and Sri Lanka chose — erroneously it turned out — not to review.

Ben Stokes hit a brisk 62 off 93 balls that saw three sixes, including one back over Perera’s head and an almighty sweep high over midwicket off Dhananjaya de Silva to bring up the 300.

Shortly before tea he became Perera’s second scalp, a demon of a ball pitching outside leg and angling back to take the Durham all-rounder’s off stump.

Jos Buttler smashed a quick 35 before being caught off Herath while Ben Foakes, the centurion hero of the first innings, belted out 37 before falling to spinner Akila Dananjaya.

with AFP.