David Warner was involved in bizarre scenes during Australia's ODI win over Zimbabwe on Sunday when he walked off the field thinking he was out, only for DRS to give him a reprieve.
Cameron Green took a five-wicket haul and Warner and Steve Smith starred with the bat as Australia won by five wickets in the first of three ODIs in Townsville.
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Warner set the tone in Australia's innings with a stylish 57 off 66 balls.
However his innings wasn't free of controversy, with Zimbabwe convinced they'd dismissed the Aussie opener in the 17th over when they appealed for caught behind.
On-field umpire Rod Tucker turned down the appeal, but wicketkeeper and captain Regis Chakabva immediately called for a review and was sure Warner had hit the ball.
The Aussie star also knew he was out and started walking from the field, but was given a huge let-off when there was no hot-spot on his bat in the DRS review.
Snicko showed the faintest of spikes as the ball passed the bat, but the third umpire wasn't convinced by what he was seeing and let Warner bat on.
“I don’t know what to say, to be honest with you,” Nathan Lyon said on Fox Cricket commentary.
“I’ll be honest, sitting here watching that and hearing stump mic, I thought it was out … I believe he was out.”
Speaking after the match, Cameron Green admitted the incident was “very weird”.
“I don’t think too many people have seen that. A guy’s walked off thinking he’s out and then gets called back,” he said.
“We weren’t sure if David was just going to keep walking and accept it or go back.
"It was a really weird one, but yeah, we’ll take it.”
Fans were also left perplexed.
What a bizarre sequence of events 🤣
Not out from umpire
Review from Zimbabwe
DRS says not out
— Rohit Sankar (@imRohit_SN) August 28, 2022
The David Warner incident is the Perfect example of why most umpires aren’t big fans of batters who ‘walk’ and make their own decisions #AusvZim
— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) August 28, 2022
Bizarre moment! Zimbabwe review for a caught behind against David Warner who thinks he has nicked it, starts walking off, but third umpire stays with not out decision #AUSvZIM
— Andrew McGlashan (@andymcg_cricket) August 28, 2022
— Rick Eyre on cricket (@rickeyrecricket) August 28, 2022
— Nimbus (@ephemeral_98) August 28, 2022
— Kaushik Vaidya (@KaushikVaidya) August 28, 2022
Aussies claim victory in ODI against Zimbabwe
While Aaron Finch chopped on in the ninth over for 15, Warner was well supported by Smith, who made an unbeaten 48 from 80 balls at No.3 as Alex Carey, Mitch Marsh and Marcus Stoinis fell cheaply to spin at the other end.
Leg-spinner Ryan Burl (3-60) claimed all three wickets as Zimbabwe briefly gained momentum, but Glenn Maxwell's hard-hitting 32 off nine deliveries ensured Australia cruised to victory.
Back-to-back sixes by Maxwell handed Australia a win in their first of 17 ODIs before next year's World Cup in India.
After Zimbabwe were sent in to bat by Finch, Green produced an outstanding performance to take 5-33 from nine overs as the tourists were bowled out for 200.
The all-rounder removed danger-man Sikander Raza - who'd made three centuries in his past six innings - and skipper Chakabva early on, and came back later to mop up the tail.
Having claimed only one wicket in his seven previous ODIs, Green said a lack of restriction on his overs gave him plenty of confidence heading into contest.
"I think I'm in a really good place at the moment where those restrictions aren't really there," the 23-year-old told reporters after being named man of the match.
"(We) just had a really clear gameplan ... got a bit lucky at the end there, was just the right place at the right time trying to bowl back of a length on a wicket that was kind of going up and down.
"I was luckily the one who got the rewards, but I think the rest of the team bowled really well and basically gave me the opportunity to be in that position."
Game two of the best-of-three series is on Wednesday at the Riverway Stadium.
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