2nd ODI, Lord's

England v Australia, 2015

Nick Hoult

At Lord's, September 5. Australia won by 64 runs. Toss: England.
Australia eased into a 2-0 lead, but were jeered after the controversial dismissal of Stokes proved the flashpoint of the summer. He became only the seventh international player to be given out obstructing the field, after his outstretched left hand blocked a shy at the stumps from Starc, the bowler. Australia appealed, believing he was defending his wicket, while Stokes - who was trying to regain his ground - claimed he had acted instinctively, out of self-defence. Law 37 states that a batsman is out if he "wilfully strikes the ball with a hand not holding the bat, unless this is in order to avoid injury". The on-field officials, Kumar Dharmasena and Tim Robinson, told Stokes they thought he was not out, yet still referred the incident to the third umpire, Joel Wilson. Focusing on the slow-motion pictures, which made Stokes's action look more deliberate than the real-time replay, Wilson gave him out. The decision incensed Morgan, batting at the other end, who later claimed England would have withdrawn the appeal. That, in turn, infuriated Smith, who insisted: "If you wilfully put your hand out in front of the ball, then you're given out, and that's the way it went." The incident soured a match that had started an hour late, but in dramatic fashion, when Finn's second ball broke Warner's left thumb, ending his tour. However, Australia recovered as Smith continued his love of London life: all his four innings in the capital on this tour had produced scores above 50. Marsh then ensured another target of over 300 with a thumping 64 off 31 balls. England were not too far behind, until the dismissal of Stokes made it 141 for four in the 26th over, which soon became 187 for eight. All that was left was for Morgan, in partnership with Plunkett, to take out his frustration on the bowlers. But the row could not disguise Australia's dominance.
Man of the Match: M. R. Marsh.

© John Wisden & Co