The independent voice of cricket

South Africa v England

‘We’ve been made to eat our words’ – Commentators left stumped by overturned decision

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

According to those up in the commentary box, the decision from the on-field umpire was, quite clearly, the correct one.

With Rassie van der Dussen missing a full toss from leg-spinner Adil Rashid in the first T20I between England and South Africa at Benz Park, the umpire’s finger went up for lbw.

Pommie Mbangwa, on commentary for SuperSport, immediately remarked: “That’ll be out, surely – that’s out.”

“I wouldn’t [review]”, was David Lloyd, his co-commentator’s take. That was van der Dussen’s mode of action, though, with South Africa having put 102 on the board after 9.4 overs.

“A few are laughing in the changing room because they’re wondering, ‘what are you doing, Rassie?’, ” said Mbangwa, and replays showing the ball to be hitting van der Dussen’s pad didn’t change his verdict.

“There’s nothing there that suggests he might be OK.”

Lloyd remained firmly in agreement. “England’s review was a shocker and I think this is too.”

Cue the use of the ball-tracking technology which revealed the ball to be sliding down the leg side. Mbangwa was at least able to give due credit to the batsman: “Well done, Rassie!”

‘We’ve been made to eat out words,” said Ian Ward to confirm the bemusement of those behind the mic.

The overturned decision didn’t come back to haunt England; van der Dussen added just two runs to his own score before he was dismissed by Ben Stokes for 31 to leave South Africa on 111-2 after 10.5 overs, with the Proteas ending their innings on 177-8. 

Have Your Say

Become a Wisden member

  • Exclusive offers and competitions
  • Money-can’t-buy experiences
  • Join the Wisden community
  • Sign up for free
Latest magazine

Get the magazine

12 Issues for just £39.99