Fortune has favoured Moeen Ali in Chittagong © Associated Press
Moeen Ali has had his fair share of fortune in the first Test in Chittagong. His opening-day 68 involved five DRS interventions – three in a period of six balls when he was given out by Kumar Dharmasena either side of lunch – but in the second innings a reprieve came from a different route.
Facing Shakib Al Hasan, on 6, he flicked the ball off his hip straight a short leg who, at first glance from a front-on angle, had appeared to grasp the catch close to his chest. However, Moeen was well aware of the Laws and had noticed that the ball had made contact with the grille of Mominul Haque’s helmet before settling in his hands.
Mominul, himself, also appeared to know the outcome as he barely celebrated the catch amid the initial excitement from the bowler. After a quick check with the third umpire, it was confirmed as not out.
This is the Law (32.3) in question: “The act of making the catch shall start from the time when the ball in flight comes into contact with some part of a fielder’s person other than a protective helmet, and shall end when a fielder obtains complete control both over the ball and over his own movement… it is not a fair catch if the ball has previously touched a protective helmet worn by a fielder. The ball will then remain in play.”
In the dressing room, Jonny Bairstow may have had a wry smile. He has twice fallen foul of being caught off a fielder’s helmet. It first happened in Mumbai, during the 2012 series, when he prodded a catch to silly point which was held by Gautam Gambhir. Initially all looked normal with the dismissal, but the wicket also brought lunch and as replays continued to be scanned it became clear Gambhir’s helmet had been involved. There were attempts by England to have the decision overturned but Bairstow was not reprieved.
Three years later, during the 2015 Ashes, it happened to Bairstow again. In the second innings at The Oval he inside-edged Nathan Lyon to short leg where, with a juggle, Adam Voges held the catch. Again, he walked off without much fuss only for subsequent replays to show it had come off Voges’ helmet.
More recently, during the India-New Zealand Test series in Kanpur, there was another example when Tom Latham was given a life when he swept Ravi Jadeja off his boot to KL Rahul at short leg but the ball struck the chin-strap of the helmet before the catch was completed. The umpires had already sent the catch to the third umpire, to check for a bump ball, so the deflection was picked up and Latham survived.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Source: ESPN Crickinfo