As the Australian cricket team looked to capitalise on their first day’s batting performance, openers David Warner and Shaun Marsh continued from where they left off and had an answer to everything the South African bowlers threw at them. They were cruising at one stage at 158-0, after which Dale Steyn got the crucial breakthrough of David Warner, dismissing him three runs short of his century as he was caught at the slips.
After Warner’s dismissal, it all went downhill for the Kangaroos as they began to lose wickets in quick succession. Usman Khawaja was bowled by Kagiso Rabada in the 41st over after scoring only four runs.
As captain Steve Smith came out to bat, he was looking to build a solid partnership with Shaun Marsh who had reached his half-century. Unfortunately for Smith, a bizarre incident in the 42nd over led to his dismissal and raised a lot of eyebrows as well.
As debutant South African bowler Keshav Maharaj bowled to Steve Smith in the 42nd over, Steve Smith looked to attack the youngster and danced down the track looking to smash the ball for a boundary, but the ball clipped his pads as he did so, and as the South African team went up in unison, umpire Aleem Dar judged Smith to be out.
The decision was immediately reviewed by Smith but replays suggested that despite being several paces down the pitch, the ball was seen to be clipping leg stump, which was enough to stick with Dar's original decision and send an unhappy Smith on his way for a four-ball duck.
Interestingly, the “Snick-O” meter showed that the ball had hit the bat, but the “ultra edge” technology showed that their was no contact with the ball.
As a furious Steve Smith left the pitch, Shane Warne who was in the commentary box, too, vented out against the “Umpire’s call” aspect of the Decision Review System and said that it should be reviewed. He also called for the DRS system to be simplified.
“To me, this is a bad decision," Warne said while commentating on Channel Nine’s Wide World of Sports. "The DRS system is there to get the right decision. There is an argument that (this delivery) is hitting the stumps and it should be out. But for me, I'd make it this simple: the on-field decision should be taken out of the equation.”
Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting had an entirely different view on the matter though and hailed the decision as a “magnificent one.”
"I thought (ball tracking) would say it'd go miles over, in Perth that's your natural reaction when you see someone charge down the pitch like that," Ponting said on BT Sport.
"I actually put my hands up with a gap of about a foot, saying 'that’s going go over by a foot'. "But it turns out it was a magnificent decision, it was just clipping the stump, and that’s all it needs to do,” said Ponting
Another former captain Michael Clarke too had his say on this matter as he posted through his official twitter account.
Aust captain gone! @stevesmith49. That's a very courageous decision from Aleem Dar, just clipping leg stump.