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DRS process under scrutiny after UltraEdge malfunction hands Rassie van der Dussen reprieve

Umpiring confusion leads to bizarre passage of play in third ODI between South Africa and England

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
Eoin Morgan was confused by the decision, South Africa v England, 3rd ODI, Johannesburg, February 9, 2019

Eoin Morgan was confused by the decision  •  Getty Images

Rassie van der Dussen was allowed to review an on-field lbw decision in Sunday's ODI between South Africa and England in Johannesburg despite Temba Bavuma previously using his side's only referral, because UltraEdge had been unavailable when Bavuma did so.
Bavuma was given out lbw when he failed to pick an Adil Rashid googly and was struck on the front pad, but decided to review umpire Shaun George's decision. Ball-tracking technology showed that the ball would have hit the top of middle-and-leg, but as Bavuma was about to leave the field, reserve umpire Allahudien Paleker told him to wait from the boundary edge.
Aleem Dar, the third umpire, wanted to check that Bavuma had not hit the ball, and despite replays seeming to show clear daylight between bat and ball, an error in the technology meant that UltraEdge was unavailable. That meant the umpire's on-field decision was upheld, but Bavuma was not adjudged to have used South Africa's review.
The following ball, Rashid again bowled a googly, and struck the new batsman van der Dussen on the pad. Umpire George again raised the finger, and van der Dussen started to walk off.
But, immediately before he left the field, Paleker informed him from the boundary edge that he was able to review the decision if he so wished. Van der Dussen did review, and ball-tracking showed that the ball was missing the leg stump, causing George's on-field decision to be overturned.
England were irate, with their captain Eoin Morgan seemingly protesting as to why van der Dussen was able to review the decision, though it ultimately mattered little, as the batsman was bowled by Moeen Ali in the following over.
According to Article 3.6.8 of the ICC's ODI playing conditions, "a player review categorised as 'unsuccessful' may be reinstated by the ICC match referee at his/her sole discretion (if appropriate after consultation with the ICC technical official and/or the television broadcast director) if the player review could not properly be concluded due to a failure of the technology."
The article goes on to state that "any such decision shall be final and shall be taken as soon as possible, being communicated to both teams once all the relevant facts have been ascertained by the ICC match referee. A player review categorised as 'unsuccessful' shall not be reinstated if, despite any technical failures, the correct decision could still have been made using the other available technology."
That part of the clause appears to suggest that protocol was not followed in this case, with the decision to reinstate the review not communicated to the players before Rashid's ball to van der Dussen.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets at @mroller98