The Decision Review System was under the spotlight in the first Ashes Test and some doubtful decisions have re-ignited the debate over its efficacy.
The final act of the unbelievable drama of the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge belonged to, quite ironically, the DRS. After five days of pulsating Test cricket at its best, Australia needed 15 runs to draw first blood and England were seeking the last wicket to win the opening match of this hyped series for the first time since 1997.
Hyped it maybe, but the contest lived up to or rather exceeded expectations. Ian Bell scored a career defining ton while a 19-year-old debutant Ashton Agar etched his name into Ashes folklore. Jonathan Trott was the victim of a howler from DRS which even prompted the DRS inventor to apologise to the batsman and that Stuart Broad non-walk, robbing Australia of a wicket in 'broad' daylight if you are an Australian supporter, was another major talking point. Brad Haddin's dismissal as the final wicket, courtesy DRS, handing England a hard fought 14-run victory was the perfect icing on the cake.
Haddin-Pattinson last wicket stand
The last wicket partnership of 65 run between James Pattinson and Haddin rekindled memories of the famous Edgbaston Ashes Test in 2005, when Brett Lee and Michael Kasprowicz added 59 for the final wicket before Australia lost by just two runs. At Trent Bridge, the last pair took Australia to within touching distance of the target of 311 before Haddin was given out for 71, thus ending the Australian innings at 296, 14 adrift of the target.
Starting the day at 174 for 6, Ashton Agar and Haddin added 33 runs for the day before Agar was dismissed by James Anderson. England were coasting towards victory after two quick wickets of Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle, but the last twist in the tale remained as Pattinson and Haddin started to make the impossible seem possible, giving the Trent Bridge crowd some nervy moments. But as fate would have it, Haddin chased a swinging away delivery from Anderson 20 minutes into the second session, nicking it to wicketkeeper Matt Prior. Umpire Aleem Dar gave it not out as the appeal from England too was half-hearted. Prior pushed his captain Alastair Cook to go for the DRS review and the hot-spot revealed the faintest of edges thus ending the thrilling game.
The whole of England was livid when Jonathan Trott was given out by third umpire Marais Erasmus on Day 3, thus reversing the decision of on-field umpire Aleem Dar. England went into lunch at a precarious position of 11 for 2 after conceding a 65-run lead in the first innings.
Mitchell Starc had dismissed Joe Root a ball earlier, which in itself was a very contentious decision, and followed it up with a fullish, in-swinging delivery with Dar giving Trott not out. Australia reviewed the decision and to Trott's dismay Erasmus gave him out despite the fact that Hot Spot images from the required angle were not available.
Host broadcaster Sky explained the Hot Spot camera missed the Trott wicket as it was replaying Root's exit a ball earlier. Images cannot be replayed and played at the same time, which was an operational error.
Broad had made 37 with England then 297 for seven in their second innings on Friday's third day at Trent Bridge, when he edged teenage debutant spinner Ashton Agar. The ball clipped wicketkeeper Haddin's gloves and then flew to Australia captain Michael Clarke at first slip. Australia appealed for the catch but leading Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar ruled in the batsman's favour as Broad stayed put on his Nottinghamshire home ground.
The tourists couldn't believe the verdict but ultimately, as they'd already used up both their two permitted reviews in the innings, they were unable to challenge it by calling on the third umpire and had to accept Dar's decision. Broad finished on 65 not out, having added 138 with Ian Bell (109), and helped Ashes-holders England to a lead of 311.