Mark Stoneman was given a taste of the WACA of old during his half-century on the opening day before a controversial end to his innings. Here’s a recap of an innings that included a change of bat, a barrage of short balls and a blow on the head
6.1 Starc to Stoneman, no run, dug in short, Stoneman takes his bottom hand off as he fends and keeps the ball down… and this has actually broken his bat handle! That’s the second stick of Stoneman’s that has needed replacing in this series
27.6 Hazlewood to Stoneman, FOUR, banged in and flashed high over backward point, he’s connected with this one, a lusty spank for four – and that’s Stoneman’s fifty, his second of the series. Can he go on?
31.1 Hazlewood to Stoneman, no run, short ball, at the batsman – takes the blow on the side of the helmet! Yowch, that’s going to leave a ringing in the ears, though Stoneman is able to walk away and take off his lid unaided. The stem-guards popped off, as they often do, but the protective gear absorbed most of the impact, I think…
…he needs to be checked over by the physios, but he’s walking and talking okay. Might need a replacement helmet, though… and there’ll doubtless be more short stuff to follow up, giving the issues he’s had today. Right, he’s going to continue
37.5 Starc to Stoneman, OUT, ripping bouncer, Stoneman throws up the hands and is beaten… or is he? No, there was a flick of glove on it! Paine took a leaping catch and Australia quickly reviewed Erasmus’ not-out decision, with Aleem Dar determining that a ripple on Snicko was evidence of contact. Erasmus has to reverse the call and up goes the finger, Stoneman’s gutsy knock is over! That was a snorter, unlucky for the batsmen on several levels…
…there’s a bit of a debate about whether the ball touched the glove on the top hand, or the bottom, which Stoneman had taken off the bat handle (and therefore couldn’t be out). The umpires are looking at it again, in fact; but after several grainy replays, it has been decided that it flicked Stoneman’s right hand and there is no reprieve. Given the confusion, you have to wonder if that was conclusive evidence to overturn the on-field decision… but there we go. England certainly aren’t happy about it