Moeen Ali gets sixth reprieve of match in increasingly intriguing Bangladesh-England Test
Moeen Ali must be feeling three lives short of being a cat. After having being reprieved five times off lbw reviews during his first innings, he survived in the second innings owing to one of the most unusual circumstances. The all-rounder must be lauded for his awareness of the rules, because Jonny Bairstow had walked away when an exactly similar thing had happened in a match against Australia in 2015.
Bangladesh had skittled three wickets in the first session of Day 3, and Moeen Ali joined Gary Ballance in the middle as play resumed after lunch. Staying true to the fervent pace that the match had been played at in the morning session, the first ball of the fifth over after the break produced a major talking point. As Ali, batting on 6, tried to sweep Shakib-al-Hasan, he misjudged the point of contact on his bat and the ball ballooned on to backward short leg fielder Mominul Haque.
Bangladesh fielders jumped up in appeal, and to the naked eye, it looked as if England were condemned to 36/4. However, Ali did not look ready to budge and said something to the umpire, which drew a worried look from the appealing Shakib, and muted the celebrations a little.
The shot had been hit with some impact, and so despite the contact not being perfect, travelled fast to Mominul. The ball bounced off his palms and onto the grille of his helmet, twice.
According to the laws of the game, once the ball hits the fielder's protective equipment - in this case, the helmet - it shouldn't be out. In Michael Clarke’s last match for Australia, Jonny Bairstow had been unluckily dismissed after Adam Voges had pouched a catch with some help from his helmet.
Bairstow had not shown awareness of the rule on that day and had been left to rue this in the dressing room. Clearly, the matter has been discussed among the England players in the aftermath, and Ali was awake to the situation.
The decision was referred to the third umpire, who adjudged Ali not out. Ali did have to depart soon after though, as another attempted sweep ballooned upwards and was caught by wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim. However, 12 overs and 26 runs later had been added after the contentious moment.
England are currently leading by 117 runs with 5 wickets in hand in what is increasingly becoming a very intriguing Test match.