Even the technology didn’t go our way.
Almost everything that could have gone wrong did in Australia’s embarrassing 134-run loss to South Africa on Friday morning.
The most controversial moments in the match came right when Australia’s chase of South Africa’s score of 312 fell apart at 6-70.
The record defeat came after an incompetent effort in the field with six catches dropped.
It didn’t get any better when it was Australia’s turn to bat with the five-time champions knocked over for 177 from 41 overs.
Marcus Stoinis and Steve Smith were both flabbergasted when DRS verdicts went against them in bizarre fashion.
Marnus Labuschagne said after the match the TV umpire’s decision to give Stoinis out caught behind was “confusing”.
Stoinis was dismissed for five, caught down the leg-side off Kagiso Rabada as the batting order collapsed in miserable fashion,
Labuschagne was the only batter in the top seven to score more than 20 runs.
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Labuschagne was at the other end at the time of Stoinis’ dismissal and said the players in the middle were bemused by the decision, with some replays appearing to show the ball hit Stoinis’ glove while it was off the bat.
“It was certainly confusing and I’m sure we’ll get clarity or we’re going to seek for clarity because it’s a World Cup and we don’t want small decisions that can be avoided to change the outcomes of games,” said Labuschagne, who top-scored for Australia with 46.
“Obviously in the situation we’re in it’s hard to say that it was going to change the outcome but for the future you certainly want to make sure we get them right.”
Stoinis protested the decision with the on-field umpires and eventually walked off shaking his head.
Labuschagne said it was chaos on the field at the time of the dismissal.
“The umpires didn’t really know what was going on, they just saw what we saw,” he said.
“So there wasn’t too much going on. To me it looked like his hand was off the bat, it hit the glove and because they didn’t go to the side-on angle, Marcus and I were just asking, ‘have they checked?’ because they just saw the spike from front on and we didn’t see a close up off the side on.
“It looked like there was clear daylight between the two gloves and the handle.”
South Africa fast bowler Rabada admitted the “technology favoured us today”.
He said the ball hit Stoinis’s bat handle on the way through to Quinton de Kock behind the stumps.
However, there had been a temporary moment of doubt.
“Initially I thought it hit his thigh pad and my teammates around me felt that they heard a woody sound,” said the fast bowler who finished with 3-33.
“Stoinis didn’t look so convincing. I think he looked as if he touched it. I guess the controversy was around the fact that his hand was off the bat when the ball made contact with his glove.
“But we thought it was the bat handle. Again, that’s not up to us. We reviewed it and the umpires made a decision.”
Former Australian captain Aaron Finch called it a “strange decision” on commentary, while England legend Nasser Hussain labelled it “a really odd one”.
Smith, umpire both shocked by DRS verdict
Steve Smith also looked unhappy at being given out lbw, although the Hawkeye system showed the ball, also from Rabada, was crashing into leg stump.
Finch said it looked that the ball was going “a long way down” the leg side.
BBC commentator Geoff Lemon said Smith was “dumbfounded” when the verdict was returned.
He said on-field umpire Joel Wilson was equally as perplexed.
“I haven’t seen the final footage but it looked like it must have hit him on leg and then almost straightened onto the stumps,” Labuschagne said.
“It just wasn’t what it felt like out there but once again I can’t argue with technology or not right now.”
Smith was dismissed for 19, leaving Australia 3/50. He was seen watching replays on the big screen as he walked to the dressing room.
“You can shake your head as many times as you want, but it’s crashing into the stumps,” former Australian batter Matthew Hayden said on commentary.
South African legend Shaun Pollock continued: “The South Africans reviewed it more in hope than 100 per cent conviction, and there’s two perplexed Australian batters at the crease.”
Australia next faces Sri Lanka on Monday needing to win six of their final seven matches to make the semi-finals.