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Pakistan v Australia 2022

Should a ‘tiny little heartbeat’ on UltraEdge have been enough to give Azhar Ali out on DRS?

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Azhar Ali was at the receiving end of a dubious decision by the TV umpire after the faintest of spikes on UltraEdge was enough to send him back to the pavilion during day five of the third Test between Pakistan and Australia, despite a ‘not out’ decision on the field.

Needing to chase 351 for a series win, Pakistan looked likely to make a match of it when they were well-placed at 105-1 in the 45th over. However, a controversial decision to send back Azhar set the team’s pursuit back, with them eventually all out for 235.

The second ball of the 46th over of the innings saw Azhar attempt a sweep off a Nathan Lyon delivery that spun back in. The batter, who leaned forward, missed his attempted stroke, with the ball passing close to the bat and onto his front-pad before ricocheting to Steve Smith at slips. The on-field umpire, though, declared it not out, unsure if the ball had grazed the bat or not.


The one-air commentator Mike Haysman too believed that he could hear only one sound. “I think it’s just off the pad,” he said. “I didn’t hear two noises.”

However, Australia utilised DRS, and the TV umpire Asif Yaqoob confirmed that he could see a “little” spike when the ball was next to the bat, and as the catch had been taken cleanly, he ruled Azhar out for a 47-ball 17. Haysman, though, was not convinced as there was only a “tiny little heartbeat” on the UltraEdge.

“I don’t think it is conclusive enough and I am not convinced that he was out,” he said. “There were murmurs [on UltraEdge] before the ball approached the bat as well.”

Azhar appeared dissatisfied with the decision as he left the field.

Lyon went on to complete his 19th Test five-for, as Australia clinched the three-match series 1-0.


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