What's the story?
Ben Foakes was involved in a controversial stumping in England's one-off game against Ireland which has drawn the ire of a number of fans who felt that the 'trick' was not in the spirit of the game. However, a few fans were impressed with the wicket-keeper's skills as Ireland's Andy Balbirnie was dismissed in a clever fashion.
After Ravi Ashwin's 'manakding' incident in the Indian Premier League, there have been a lot of discussions regarding the spirit of the game and whether Jos Buttler was at the receiving end of an unfair act. Foakes's delayed stumping of Balbirnie was yet another incident which has been added to these discussions.
The heart of the matter
Here is how the stumping in question was executed by Foakes off the bowling of Joe Denly.
The incident happened in the 25th over of the first innings when Balbirnie tried to sweep Denly's delivery but missed it and hence, was out of balance. The ball after crossing the batsman was collected neatly by Foakes, who did not execute a stumping immediately.
He waited for the batsman, who was still out of balance, to lift his back leg up and then the England wicket-keeper took the bails off.The decision was referred to the third umpire and after a lengthy review, the Ireland batsman was given out.
It is uncommon to see such a stumping in international cricket and hence, this triggered a discussion as to whether this incident was in the spirit of the game.
Nevertheless, England won the game with Ben Foakes contributing with a well-made knock of 61 runs.
With Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler rested and Sam Billings injured, Foakes will be handling the wicket-keeping duties for the English squad in the run of games leading up to the World Cup.
His performance against Ireland was impressive and will look to repeat it against Pakistan in the limited-overs tournament.