Bad decisions don’t decide a Test

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England will be pretty disappointed to have only made 351 and they’ll point to a couple of rough decisions as being one cause, but if they’re a serious Test side, they should forget about them. It’s not like they’re going to get overturned after the match. Don’t dwell on it.

The most contentious was the dismissal of Kevin Pietersen. Pietersen edged a ball from Chaminda Vaas to Chamara Silva in the slips. Silva went to take the ball to his left, the ball bounced out of his grasp, he managed to scoop it up a second time and succeeded in directing it to Kumar Sangakkara at first slip, who held onto it. It would have been quite neat if it weren’t for the fact that the ball appeared to have been grounded as Silva went for it initially.

One hand, one bounce catchSo everyone’s calling for ‘the technology’ to be used in these decisions – the umpires chose not to refer it.

However, from England’s point of view, as regards this Test match, the main problem was that Kevin Pietersen edged a ball to second slip. As a batsman, if you edge the ball to second slip, there’s a fair chance you’re going to be out.

We do feel a bit sorry for Pietersen though. Not because of the decision, but because of the fact that he was encouraged to stay out on the field by his teammates. This meant he was standing around like a lost child until it became apparent that actually, yes, he was out.

This was rather unbecoming for a batsman who’s generally very dignified when given out. He tends to tuck his bat under his arm and stride off displaying minimal emotion. It’s quite admirable.

Yes, we really did describe Kevin Pietersen as ‘dignified’.

Sri Lanka v England, second Test at Columbo – day one
England 258-5 (Michael Vaughan 87, Alastair Cook 81)


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  1. Looking at that picture, Pietersen’s only got himself to blame for insisting on playing with dwarves.

    His dismissal will be the most talked about, but the decision to give Cook out LBW was probably worse.

  2. That happened to me once.

    I was playing for Twickenham under-12s against Hampton Wick. I did my usual trick of flailing wildly at a poor ball, and nicked a leg-side shocker. I, being an honourable Englishman, walked. However, my disreputable colleagues in the pavilion had never conceived of such an act, and began to bellow at me to return to my crease. “The umpire’s not raised his finger, you plonker.”

    Young, confused and stupid, I did heed their advice. Turning about, I tried to re-enter the square without the umpire noticing. Dumbfounded at first, and then stern, he jabbed an angry finger in my direction.

    Humiliated, I turned about a second time, seeking the understanding gawp of my team-mates. Yet, what was once a monkey-cage of shrieking fury, melted into a silent, empty shack. I walked back, with only the derisory gaze of Hampton Wick’s most spiteful eyes for company.

    I feel your pain, KP.

  3. KP – dignified?? Remember the 3 Test series v India this summer, anyone?? His teammates have a habit of urging him to stay (when not busy throwing jellybeans) and he has a habit of staying around like a lost puppy..actually, make that stray dog.
    Look, I admire KP/MV/IB/AC as players but when it comes to sanctimonius, holier-than-thou calls for more use of technology in dubious decisions (read dubious decisions that go against England) after what the Indians had to suffer during the summer, frankly, I feel like pissing all over these idiots.
    Rant over, peace.

  4. This is what we meant, Sanjay. Teams should just get on with it. It’s not just England who suddenly fall in love with technology after a bad call. All teams are similarly one-eyed.

    And as you say yourself, KP was influenced by his teammates on both those occasions. He should have just walked off like normal.

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