England v West Indies, 2nd ODI, The Oval

Gayle return further exposes tourists

West Indies reliance on Chris Gayle was evident in his dismissal creating lasting damage to their chances of setting a competitive total

Nagraj Gollapudi at The Oval

June 19, 2012

Comments: 45 | Text size: A | A

Dwayne Bravo is off his feet to play into the off side, England v West Indies, 2nd ODI, The Oval, June 19, 2012
After Chris Gayle's dismissal, Dwayne Bravo was the only West Indies batsman to make a sizeable contribution © Associated Press

How much did the dubious decision to give Chris Gayle out cost West Indies? The extended drama over Gayle's lbw is bound to draw another round of fresh debate over the efficacy of the DRS. Gayle and West Indies might even feel deprived of a bigger score and better day at work instead of swallowing a series defeat in the end. At the same time there is another valid question: did West Indies get consumed by the Gayle decision and failed to respond as England did at various moments in the match each time they were under the cosh?

Let's start first with the Gayle episode. Gayle had pushed at delivery from Graeme Swann, which was bowled from wide of the crease from round the wicket and had drifted in nicely before hitting his front pad in line with the stumps. On first look it seemed out, but on second look, it seemed he had managed to get an inside edge just as the ball tried to squeeze between bat and pad. Tony Hill, the New Zealand umpire, was initially uncertain but eventually satisfied Swann's loud and persistent appeal. Gayle did not even consult his batting partner before asking for a referral.

A hush immediately enveloped at the Oval as Kumar Dharmasena, the Sri Lankan third umpire, deliberated on the decision. As the minutes ticked, the intrigue only deepened. Hot Spot displayed two spots but the replays remained inconclusive about whether the ball hit pad first or bat. Some television pundits said that the time taken to arrive at a decision meant Gayle should have been given the benefit of doubt, but in principle the DRS offers the benefit of doubt to the original decision. Eventually what Dharmasena reported to Hill was not strong enough for Hill to change his mind.

"The chasm between Gayle and virtually the rest of West Indies batsmen was exposed once again as the rest of the batsman, barring Bravo, disappointed."

Gayle was surprised as Hill raised his finger for a second time. He raised both his hands unable to understand how he was ruled out. After delaying his exit, he finally started walking back, shaking his head in disapproval. He knew he had positioned himself in a spot from where he could go big. He did raise his bat to acknowledge a standing ovation from a strong crowd. His first international innings on return from exile had lasted one hour.

In those 60 minutes, Gayle batted like the matinee idol he was hyped up to be. He played his initial overs attentively against the bounce and seam available early on. But England were equally aware about what was going to hit them between the eyes after this eerie silence. And it did not take long as Gayle launched a hat-trick of fours against Steve Finn first and then hit five sixes in eleven deliveries including the cloud-kissing missile against Tim Bresnan which sailed into the roof atop the Bedser Stand. That brought back memories of the World Twenty20 in 2009 at the same ground when Gayle had dispatched Brett Lee out of the ground more than once.

There was an edge to Gayle's batting. He had come into England on the back of finishing as the best batsman in the IPL. But his last ODI hundred for his country came on January 13, 2009. Gayle had said recently both him and WICB had fallen out at the very point when he was really hungry and close to make his dreams come true. Today he once again grew hopeful before the abrupt end.

Dwayne Bravo, who scored a resolute fifty, called Gayle's exit as a turning point, saying the decision immediately put West Indies on the back foot. "If the decision had gone a different way, it might have been a different ball game," he said.

Bravo did not stop at that and questioned the accuracy of the referral system. "What confuses us is they use the technology and yet still the decision was given," Bravo said. "It is ok, umpires do mistakes. That's accepted but not when they see it after and they realised they make a wrong decision and stand by it. It was a game-changing moment. Chris had been playing very well. Losing him at that time swing the momentum back England's way."

Unfortunately the chasm between Gayle and virtually the rest of West Indies batsmen was exposed once again today as the rest of the batsman, barring Bravo, disappointed once again. Marlon Samuels and Kieron Pollard were easily sucked into the short stuff bait while Dwayne Smith, who hit a fifty in the first ODI, proved why he has never been able to secure his spot in the batting order with an erroneous stroke selection. At the other end Bravo was left frustrated.

Bravo admitted he was not able to finish his innings the way he would liked and had to hold back a lot longer as he kept losing partners. If West Indies want to win series overseas, Bravo said they had a lot to learn from England. "They are winning key moments in the game. If we can plan better and think better we can turn out to be a better team," he said.

West Indies were supposed to be favourites to win the ODI series considering they were playing their best team. But like Pollard had said on the eve of the series, there is no point being the best on paper. Unlike England who responded smartly and bravely to bounce back, West Indies get distracted easily.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by richardali on (June 22, 2012, 21:39 GMT)

West Indies need a reliable midle order- chanderpaul,sarwan you cant have a team that is packed with big hitters and a wanna be wicketkeeper batsman. I understand that we want to build a team for the next world cup but we need to start winning more often especially away from home. I suggest that we bring back SARS (both formats) and chanders for the 50 over game so we can start competing and allow the younger ones to grow around them.

Posted by JG2704 on (June 21, 2012, 11:44 GMT)

@flop_hat on (June 21 2012, 00:35 AM GMT) Don't think the analogy with the Pac/Bradley fight are at all good. This was a close decision so a better analogy would have been Trinidad/De La Hoya. Gayle's slow walk off didn't bother me personally but I would bet anything that if Cook or Bell etc had stood their ground for a few seconds after being confirmed as out the posters would have been all over it like a swarm of wasps over binful of waste food. As for being bad for the sport- Come on - I mean the decision might have cost the crowd some entertainment but an umpire can't just go against his judgement if he feels it is the incorrect decision

Posted by JG2704 on (June 21, 2012, 11:44 GMT)

@denessa on (June 20 2012, 12:26 PM GMT) The technology showed that at best it hit both the bat and pad at the same time. There certainly wasn't any clear evidence to show that it hit the bat before pad. If there was it would have been overturned. @Nampally on (June 20 2012, 13:11 PM GMT) So what if a strong 3rd umpire had agreed with the onfield umpire then what happens - is the 3rd umpire wrong just because you don't agree with the decision.

Posted by flop_hat on (June 21, 2012, 0:35 GMT)

re: the Gayle decision. The replay is inconclusive for bat or pad first. Whatawicket was concerned re: Gayle's slow departure. I would argue that the game was equally placed in disrepute by a very delayed decision, a prolonged appeal which places undue pressure on the umpire, replay that is inconclusive in slow motion much less real speed. These type decisions certainly spark debate but in more ways (like the Paquia Bradley decision) hurt the sport immensely. Reasonable doubt is reasonable doubt, and a marginal decision (being polite) being maintained because there is not enough evidence to overturn it seems weak. The fact that there is so much disagreement in this forum answrs the question on reasonable doubt. Demon_bowler is right: DRS should stop us from whining. It should also prevent officals from inadvertently changing the course of any game.England played a much better game and deserved the win.

Posted by bsaint on (June 20, 2012, 14:40 GMT)

West Indies Fans will always be pointing fingers. Before this series we went with discipline and application and challenged Australia, there were complaints that we need experience in the team. Now we went with experience (favourites they say, more like fans pick) and threw discipline out the window and Bravo saying we need to plan and think better? Until experience can work with discipline without complaining we will NEVER be successful; no matter who is the coach, captain or board. We have stopped rallying around the West Indies, now we are more divided than anything.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (June 20, 2012, 14:28 GMT)

@Rally_Windies, it was one of those was it bat first, or pad first, the umpire and TV umpire thought it was pad first, hence out. Gayle wouldnt have known for certain which was first either hence the look of astonishment on his face as he would have felt the edge. then deflection back onto the pad. From the replays i've seen it was inconclusive so umpires call, but it did look to hit the pad just before the bat. As I said earier he was unlucky, had it not been given, England may have referred and lost thier referal as the TV umpire would have have still gone with the on field umpire.

Posted by gloriouscricket on (June 20, 2012, 13:58 GMT)

The WI team seems not to be playing as a unit--They seemed to stand around watching Chris Gayle bat--How can such experience men loose their way? Cgayle is doing his job, please do your part.Even Bravo with his 70+seemed to have lost his concentration, Samuels[-thechosenone] lost his concentration also.Smith is one of my favourite cricketers,but what a personality. Uncertain, at best masterful,at others times--he begs one to ask, Was that really you less than a week ago? Inconsistent. Simmons--How can one who is so masterful look so lost?Easy outs. England was clinical-- they played team balls. WINDIES you have to believe, you can & must win, you have the talent.Rotate the strike, 2+4+1, every ball dont have to be struck out of park-cricket fundamentals-You must still win--the fans are with you,Stand tall, awin is still crucial.Good cricket.

Posted by Rally_Windies on (June 20, 2012, 13:38 GMT)


you comment surprises me! You have to be aware that a batsman cannot be given out LBW if he hits the ball right?

If that wasn't the case, a batsman could hit the ball for 6 and be given out LBW !

you statement is ridiculous ...

"What is all this drivel against DRS. The ball would have hit the stumps, therefore he should be out. DRS is there to help eliminate doubt, to try and get rid of the archaic and ridiculous 'benefit of the doubt goes to batsman' nonsense."

and the benefit of the doubt to the batsman is NOT ridiculous ... the bowler has 60 chances to get the batsman out. The batsman only has 1 chance .. In Tests the Bowler has infinite chances vs 2 chances for the batsman. This is why is we give the benefit to the batsman, because it is VERY bad to give the batsman a wrong decision when he has only 1 chance in an ODI and 2 in a Test.

The thing about DSR... it is useless if it cannot reduce wrong decisions. It is just an expensive toy.

Posted by kitten on (June 20, 2012, 13:29 GMT)

One of the WI supporter's stated that WI don't know how to use DRS, and even when they do, they get it wrong, so they should follow BCCI's example and refuse to use it. Sound advice I think. Also, Swann, having noticed Tony Hill deliberating for a long time, kept appealing in the loudest possible fashion, and that probably worked in his favour and Hill made his decision. The Australians were brilliant in their appealing, and I am pleased to note that England, and Swann, have taken a leaf out of their book, and know when and how to appeal. Marginal decisions have been given in England's favour, and it is these decisions sometimes that can change the tone of a match, as it did in this case. Gayle was going bonkers, and England did not know how to stem the tide. This was a stroke of luck that worked in their favour. Remember, if Hill had gone the other way, the DRS would have gone with his decision, or would it?

Posted by yezdi70 on (June 20, 2012, 13:27 GMT)

I cannot understand why the original decision should be upheld if there is a doubt. If there is a doubt then benefit of doubt should go to the batsman. It is as simple as that. There was plenty of doubt here. That doesnt mean the original out decision stands. It is ridiculous.

Posted by Nampally on (June 20, 2012, 13:11 GMT)

Gayle's dismissal despite the use of UDRS shows the fallacy in interpretting this of Technology.The need for a strong third umpire & implementing his decision is vital. In case the the third umpire's decision is inconclusive, the benefit of doubt must go to the batsman. The batsman has challenged the Umpire's decision with a certain degree of confidence that he has edged the ball. Otherwise he would not waste his time questioning the Umpire. In this case,Gayle obviously felt that he played bat -pad. This takes back the 3 decisions going against Dravid in last years' India - England Test series. Each time the decision was inconclusive & Dravid was given out. ICC needs to revise this ruling by clarifying the conclusive decision in case the the third Umpire finds the result inconclusive. I personally think the benefit of doubt must go in favour of the batsmen - as it always happened before the UDRS was introduced.

Posted by denessa on (June 20, 2012, 12:26 GMT)

"What confuses us is they use the technology and yet still the decision was given," Bravo said. "It is ok, umpires do mistakes. That's accepted but not when they see it after and they realized they make a wrong decision and stand by it......THIS IS EXACTLY WAT I WANT TO KNOW THANKS BRAVO FOR HIGHLIGHTING THE BIZARRE ATTITUDE AND JUDGEMENT OF THE OFF FIELD UMPIRES WHO HAVE ALL THE EVIDENCE AT THEIR CONVENIENCE WHY NOT GIVE THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT TO THE BATSMAN ???

Posted by jmcilhinney on (June 20, 2012, 11:47 GMT)

@anver777 on (June 20 2012, 10:24 AM GMT), surely the key factor was the fact that WI batted poorly for most of the innings after Gayle was dismissed. If Gayle had been bowled or caught and there was no controversy, would you still be saying that?

Posted by Niall on (June 20, 2012, 11:18 GMT)

@the_blue_android (nice name). What do you mean "why can't that just be done by the third umpire?" do you mean

"the third umpire should review every decision?" "the third umpire should review every decision that the broadcasters suggest might be wrong/'a howler'" "the on-field umpires may be overruled at any time by the 3rd umpire"

or something else. It seems to me that the DRS puts some control into the hands of the professional players of the game, option 1 above would delay things interminably; option 2 would give TV even more power and option 3 undermines the umpires fatally without resolving the issue of the occasional bad decision.

Posted by yorkshire-86 on (June 20, 2012, 10:53 GMT)

What is all this drivel against DRS. The ball would have hit the stumps, therefore he should be out. DRS is there to help eliminate doubt, to try and get rid of the archaic and ridiculous 'benefit of the doubt goes to batsman' nonsense.

Posted by anver777 on (June 20, 2012, 10:24 GMT)

Certainly Gayle's dismissal was the key factor.......... WI really lost the momentum thereafter, run rate was dropped & they lost few quick wkts !!!!

Posted by SNIFFLEATHER on (June 20, 2012, 10:08 GMT)

If there is doubt, batsman NOT OUT

Posted by RandyOZ on (June 20, 2012, 9:24 GMT)

England got extremely lucky with the Gayle dismissal, but that's how cricket goes.

Posted by   on (June 20, 2012, 9:02 GMT)

surprised no one's picked up Bravo on his comments, which are disgraceful. Michael Holding, legend though he is, also needs to take a long look at some of his comments: that's twice now he's criticised umpires for giving marginal decisions against the West Indies (Barath in the previous test being the other example). Commentators really shouldn't criticise umpires like that, it sets a dangerous precedent.

As for the decision, watch the replay carefully: you see the front pad move from being brushed by the ball JUST before the ball is squeezed by the inside-edge, so it was in fact a great decision by Mr Hill. In these days, the old "benefit of the doubt" is no longer really valid I'm afraid, and the game is better for it

Posted by satish619chandar on (June 20, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

I don't think the decision by Dharmasena is wrong.. As per defined rules of the DRS, you need to have concrete evidence that the decision is wrong.. I didn't see any concrete evidence for overturning the decision.. Gayle was given out by onfield umpire and the third umpire just had no reason to overturn the decision.. But it still made the difference to the outcome.. Gayle was just awesome while he lasted..

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (June 20, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

@arun105Citt, the decision would only be over turned IF the ball had struck the batsman outside the line of off-stump if he was deemed to be playing a shot, if it pitches outside the line but strikes the batsman on or inside the line of Offstump, regardless of him playing a shot or not, then its out LBW, unless the bat hit the ball first. in this case the Ball pitches outside Off, strikes on/in the Offstump line, so the only question is was it Bat or Pad first, the umpire considered it to be pad first, though its was a very marginal decision the slow-motion replay suggests that it hit the pad a fraction before the bat, even the TV umpire agreedwith the decision otherwise it would have been overturned.

Posted by o-bomb on (June 20, 2012, 8:50 GMT)

I would argue that the third umpire ruled in favour of umpire Hill rather than in favour of Swann or Gayle. He didn't see enough evidence to overturn the on field umpire's decision.

Posted by please_concentrate on (June 20, 2012, 8:11 GMT)

@ arun105Citt. You answered your own question! Part 1(b) of law 36 states: (b) the ball, if it is not intercepted full pitch, pitches in line between wicket and wicket or on the off side of the striker's wicket. It is the impact that is relevant when determining whether to give the batsman not out on account of him hitting it or not. Of course the ball has to be deemed to have gone on to hit the wicket. A batsman cannot be out if the ball pitches outside leg, regardless of where the ball will end up.

Posted by   on (June 20, 2012, 8:06 GMT)

the third umpire after numerous replays decided that the evidence is inconclusive so the onfield call was upheld. PERIOD

Posted by davidc1984 on (June 20, 2012, 7:54 GMT)

@arun105Citt: You've got the law wrong. If it hits the *pad* outside off stump then he can't be given out if he's playing a shot. If the ball pitches outside off stump but hits the batsman in line with the stumps (as in the Gayle dismissal) then he can be given out.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (June 20, 2012, 6:41 GMT)

@Niraj Vashi on (June 20 2012, 04:57 AM GMT), firstly, that is not the rule in cricket. Secondly, while the decision may have looked 50/50 on close-up slo-mo, presumably the umpire saw it as being more clearly out than that. No international umpire is going to call a batsman out if he sees it as 50/50. That is exactly where the idea of giving the benefit of the doubt to the batsman came from. There is always going to be some doubt in these judgement calls though, and if the umpire is 99% sure it's out then he's not going to give the batsman the benefit of that 1% doubt. This is conjecture but I reckon that umpires probably used to want to be about 75% sure before DRS so the batsman probably got the benefit of any doubt greater than 25%. Nowadays, I reckon that it's probably more like 60% sure because they figure that DRS can pick up a lot of the marginal ones that they might get wrong. If that's true then Tony Hill had less than 40% doubt to give Gayle the benefit of.

Posted by arun105Citt on (June 20, 2012, 6:22 GMT)

I have seen lot of times if the ball pitches outside off stump then the decision would go in favor of the batsmen and it's one of the reason why they look it out where the ball is pitched. Similarly, the Law says "the batsman cannot be out lbw if the ball strikes him outside the line of off stump if he is trying to hit the ball with his bat" . In Gayle case the ball pitched outside the off stump and he tried to hit it so why not the decision is over turned by 3rd umpire before he looks out ball hit pad or bat 1st. Please can someone explain it

Posted by   on (June 20, 2012, 4:57 GMT)

Life is never perfect. There were enough bad decisions earlier. So blaming DRS now may not help. Earlier it was the Umpire and now its the DRS that unnecessarily getting the flak. Lets accept its the umpires who goofed here as well. I saw the replay and there was enough ambiguity to give benefit of the doubt to Gayle (To go by the rule in cricket, when in doubt the batsman is not out).

Posted by the_blue_android on (June 20, 2012, 3:58 GMT)

To all the guys here saying the purpose of DRS is to eliminate the howlers, for the 100th time, why can't that be just done via the third umpire?

Posted by MWaqqar on (June 20, 2012, 3:48 GMT)

timmiasgar should try to understand Chris was given out by field umpire Hill, on DRS there was not enough evidence to over rule Hills decision. If there had been no DRS Chris would still have been out. DRS is meant to correct obviously flawed decisions only. For marginal decisions field umpire decision stays. I wonder why some people cannot understand this simple thing.

Posted by subbass on (June 20, 2012, 3:39 GMT)

The only thing about the LBW was just how long umpire Hill took to give it out, that was what I did not like about it. The DRS is fine, the BCCI should accept it, all the umpires think it is a good thing as do the majority of the cricket public..

Posted by harsha_chu on (June 20, 2012, 3:21 GMT)

As much as people hate BCCI, I think they are proving to be right on their DRS decision. There is too much amiguity in DRS and is only leading to more confusion !

Posted by   on (June 20, 2012, 2:04 GMT)

I must say, just watching I was disappointed with decision but only because I wanted to get some more entertainment from Gayle. That was a good decision in the end which any follower of cricket should be able to live with. As has been said by some commentators DRS has been brought in to get rid of the 'howlers'. Technology has only showed how good these umpires really are. If it was a case of a clear inside edge before pad then DRS would have done its job but in this case Hill called what he saw and in the end it was the 'right' decision

Posted by Aubm on (June 20, 2012, 1:53 GMT)

The DRS is not flawed, it worked exactly as intended in this instance. The umpire gave it out in the first place, and as replays were inconclusive, the on field umpire's decision was upheld. Where is the problem with this???

Posted by timmiasgar on (June 20, 2012, 0:52 GMT)

im a WI to the bone...WI just doesnt know when and how to use this drs and when it is used it never helps them.....so why not go the way that INDIA has and refuse its use!!!???

Posted by bobagorof on (June 19, 2012, 23:47 GMT)

So there was a tight decision that was not overturned? And this is a failing how, exactly? It was designed to remove absolute howlers, ie decisions that are clearly wrong. However, the implementation is such that it takes into account the initial decision. If there is inconclusive evidence, then it has to go back to the on-field umpire's ruling. Things may have been different if the technology is viewed in isolation, with no consideration for the previous decision, but there will always be debate in close ones. The real problem is that the West Indies have a fragile batting order and they collapsed once the partnership was broken. The DRS can't help them there.

Posted by m0se on (June 19, 2012, 23:46 GMT)

Gayle has been back for one match and the WI is already back to it's old ODI habits. Get Gayle out and the rest of the team folds.

Posted by SALUL on (June 19, 2012, 23:41 GMT)

y only players get fine y umpires cant be fined for wrong decision.

Posted by   on (June 19, 2012, 23:36 GMT)

Good or bad decision, it is pointless. We lost again. And again I say management is at fault for asking for the wrong results from the wrong players. Can anyone explain why Simmons batted nearly sixty deliveries for 13 runs? It is clear that the direction from management was to HOLD one end up while Gayle kills the bowling. One man cannot win a game. If Gayle scored 150 not out and the rest of the team makes 100, any opposition will love that. As a capitain I will not mind letting Gayle have a go but he cannot bat both ends. The others are so preoccupied with his hitting that they forget to play cricket. Finally, Gayle nor any other WI batsman Cannot handle Swann.. Not even Chanders. Swann is simply too smart.

Posted by igorolman on (June 19, 2012, 22:59 GMT)

There is no 'benefit of the doubt' in the Laws of the Game. What they say is that if there is any doubt, the *status quo shall remain* (I paraphrase slightly). So, if he's given out, it's referred and the third umpire is not sure, he's still out! Same as all these 'umpire's call' decisions we see brushing leg stump/top of bails.

Posted by   on (June 19, 2012, 22:37 GMT)

so good to have chris gayle back in the team. its been too long. how must he feel having a whole 50 overs to bat instead of just 20. doesnt have to hurry. it could be we'll see him emulate tendulkar and sehwag with a ODI double hundred soonish; hopefully next game against the poms!

Posted by demon_bowler on (June 19, 2012, 22:35 GMT)

The DRS was supposed to stop players and fans alike from whinging. In that respect, it has been an utter failure. No matter how good the technology, no matter how many camera angles are used and how many devices are consulted, there will still be the same old whinging from fans who just cannot bear any marginal decision to go England's way.

Posted by samincolumbia on (June 19, 2012, 21:03 GMT)

Yet another vindication for BCCI who has been saying that DRS is flawed!

Posted by Rising_Edge1234 on (June 19, 2012, 20:19 GMT)

Bet West Indies will win the last game :)

Posted by whatawicket on (June 19, 2012, 20:19 GMT)

if you go into the game with the referal system in place, then you have to take the decision when that system is used to make that decision. both the guys were the overseas umpires so bias cannot not be used as an excuse. the time it took gayle to leave the field, should have been looked at by the match referee.

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