Zak Crawley grinned in relief after Australia failed to appeal for a caught-behind chance during the morning session of the first Test of Ashes 2023, which the England opener had in fact got a small edge on.
Australia were under the pump from England’s top-order early on in the session. After Ben Duckett fell early. Crawley and Ollie Pope were piling on the runs at a rate of five an over when Scott Boland came in for his fourth over. Crawley slashed his third ball for four behind square, taking his score to 40. But, Boland bowled a ripper from his next delivery.
The ball hit the seam off a good length and zipped past Crawley’s outside edge and through to Alex Carey behind the stumps. Crawley stood, seemingly unconcerned at the crease while the Australia fielders ooh’d and ahh’d at the closeness of the ball to the outside edge. They did not appeal for a dismissal.
However, the ball was even closer to Crawley’s bat than the Australia players thought. Mid-way through the next over, bowled by Nathan Lyon, an Ultra-edge replay was put up on the big screens around the ground of the ball from Boland. It showed that the ball had in fact taken a small edge off Crawley’s bat. The camera then panned to a sheepish looking Crawley grinning like a Cheshire Cat at his good fortune.
Well well well…
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) June 16, 2023
Immediately after the incident, Crawley capitalised on his luck. He brought up his fifty shortly afterwards from a single off Pat Cummins, having taken 56 balls to reach the milestone. The half-century is his second of England’s home summer, having scored 56 in the first innings against Ireland at Lord’s, before finishing unbeaten on 12 as England chased down a small total in the final innings.
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