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Afghanistan v Ireland

‘That spike was before the edge’ – Ireland collapse accelerated by potential TV umpire error

A still of the ball passing Harry Tector's bat
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Ireland’s bid for a first men’s Test victory took a significant hit at the start of their run chase as they collapsed to 13-3.

Chasing 111 against Afghanistan at the Tolerance Oval in Abu Dhabi for their first men’s Test win, Ireland lost three early wickets to Afghanistan’s new-ball pairing of Nijat Masood and Naveed Zadran.

Zadran took the first two wickets in consecutive deliveries, sneaking through the defences of both PJ Moor and Curtis Campher with balls that swung in considerably.

The highly rated Harry Tector was next go, given out caught behind off Nijat after TV umpire Paul Reiffel overturned the not out on-field decision. Tector was beaten by a full delivery: when the ball nestled into gloves of wicketkeeper Rahmanullah Gurbaz, both the bowler and the Afghanistan slip cordon went up in unison appealing for a caught behind dismissal. Their appeals were rejected by the standing umpire and after brief deliberation, Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi sent the decision upstairs.

Initial replays appeared to suggest that there was a gap between bat and ball but Ultra-Edge showed a spike, albeit one that appeared shortly before the ball passed the bat. That was enough for Reiffel to overturn the decision so Tector was on his way for two.

Mike Haysman on commentary was less convinced than Reiffel. “Well, that’s interesting. That spike was before the edge,” he said as soon as the wicket was given. “I didn’t hear a thing. That spike was before contact with the bat.”

Former Ireland international Niall O’Brien, also part of the commentary team for the Test, found no issue with the dismissal, stating that the correct protocols had been followed.

Ireland recovered after the dismissal of Tector to reach lunch on 36-3, 75 runs away from a first men’s Test victory.

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