MOEEN ALI plays in an era of DRS and technical wizardry but he was given out partly because of a bloke with a brush.
Moeen was stumped for 40 just as he and Jonny Bairstow were establishing a fluent sixth-wicket stand and giving the Aussies some twitchiness.
I have less problem with TV umpire Chris Gaffaney’s opinion that no part of Moeen’s foot was behind the line than I do with the crease line being so thick.
Side-on pictures clearly show that the middle part of the line – where Moeen’s boot was lingering – was wider than the rest of the line.
Put simply, the person who re-painted the line during the lunch interval applied too much whitewash. And mention of whitewash is not a happy thing for England on two of their three previous Ashes tours!
If the line had been the same thickness all along, Moeen would have been not out.
What a bizarre situation. Cricket uses hi-tech gadgets such as Hotspot and Snicko and yet a key dismisssal was effectively determined by a member of the groundstaff painting the line in a certain way.
Of course, it is unrealistic for crease lines to be perfectly uniform because, as the match progresses, bowlers’ footmarks and batsmen scratching their guards churn up the pitch around the stumps.
But the markings at English grounds are slimmer and neater than those here. So in future, Aussie groundstaff , please go easy with the paint!
Moeen can feel pretty aggrieved. His departure also opened the door for Australia’s bowlers and they needed no second invitation.
England lost their last four wickets for just ten runs and the tail had no answer to the pace and hostility of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.
It is going to be a common sight in this series.
Stuart Broad was also angry at being given out after a review but Snicko suggested Broad nicked the ball and Hotspot showed the faintest of edges.