David Warner escaped a very close DRS review with his wicket intact after being troubled by the opening spell of England's fast bowlers on the first day of the second Ashes Test.
Fans and cricket experts alike were perplexed by the replay of the ball from Chris Woakes that England captain Joe Root challenged in an effort to get rid of the Aussie opener cheaply.
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Warner had struggled to his slowest start in his Test career against Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad's precise opening spell.
It took him 20 balls just to get off the mark in a searching opening spell from the visitors, but Warner did enough to hang tough and eventually work his way up to 20 runs.
Woakes had been brought into the attack by this point and kept the pressure up, seeming to trap Warner LBW - but after the on-field umpire said no, Root referred the decision to third umpire Paul Reifel.
A considerable amount of time was spent trying to figure out whether the ball had touched the bat before or after thudding into Warner's right pad.
Neither the variety of camera angles available to the third umpire, nor the hotspot or snicko, were able to conclusively show where the ball had hit first.
— 7Cricket (@7Cricket) December 16, 2021
Fortunately for Warner, the inconclusive review meant he was free to stay at the crease.
Further replays later broadcast by Fox Sports showed the ball had pitched just outside leg stump - a detail which ordinarily would have rendered the review lost.
Fans were nonetheless fascinated by the conflicting evidence the replays showed, with sports commentator Brendon Speed comparing it to the infamous 'blue dress' meme from a few years ago.
— Brenton Speed (@BrentonSpeed) December 16, 2021
Big stink about the DRS tech going down in Brisbane.
Turns out even when they have it they can't use it correctly.
— Rory Dollard (@thervd) December 16, 2021
Pitching outside leg sure, but not really the point... #Ashes
— Dan-yule Brettig 🎄 (@danbrettig) December 16, 2021
Speaking on Channel 7, former Test umpire Simon Taufel said the third umpire had come to the correct decision.
“What the third umpire is looking for of course is conclusive evidence to say that the on-field umpire has got that decision wrong and Paul Reiffel has looked at every angle and for me, if you take more time to look through everything available, and you still can’t make up your mind, then that tells you it’s got to be inconclusive,” he said.
“Very happy on that occasion for the on-field umpire’s decision to stand.”
England's old firm up to old tricks
England's most successful Test bowlers were both mysteriously overlooked for the series-opener in Brisbane which Australia won by nine wickets.
But both made instant impacts on their return for the day-night Test at Adelaide Oval, a game they began with a combined 1156 Test victims.
Anderson, with the second ball in his 167th Test, produced a rip-snorting seamer which befuddled and beat Australian opener Marcus Harris.
Broad, with the first ball of his 150th Test, came around the wicket to David Warner - his modus operandi when he dismissed the Australian seven times in 104 balls in the 2019 Ashes.
Broad's opening delivery was a searing in-dipper: Warner didn't offer a shot, was struck on a thigh pad and England unsuccessfully appealed for lbw.
Anderson, in his initial four overs, conceded just one scoring shot when Harris drove through wide mid-on for three runs.
His opening five-over spell featured three maidens, seven runs, no wickets.
Broad's first spell was superb: four overs, two maidens, four runs, one wicket.
He had an lbw verdict against Harris given and then repealed on review but soon after dismissed the opener with certainty.
Harris fell after Broad moved a leg gully into position and fired a short ball down the leg-side. The Australian tried a half-pull, half-hook, edged and was spectacularly caught in one glove of wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, diving full stretch to his right.
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