Golden boy’s ‘stitch-up of the summer’

Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne has inadvertently “fooled” umpire Paul Reiffel during day two of the first Test match against India at Adelaide Oval.

During the twilight session in Adelaide, Australia were on 5/83 when Indian paceman Mohammad Shami delivered a jaffa to Labuschagne.

The ball seamed away on a good length and left the Australian No. 3 in a tangle on the crease.

The Indians appealed loudly for caught behind after hearing a noise as the ball passed Labuschagne’s bat, and Reiffel eventually opted to raise the finger.

But Labuschagne was indicating for the DRS before Reiffel’s finger had even risen above his head.

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Replays showed the 26-year-old had not edged the ball, but instead brushed the thigh pad as it passed through to the keeper.

Mohammed Shami of India appeals for the wicket of Marnus Labuschagne.Source:Getty Images

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Former Australian batsman Mark Waugh believes the on-field umpire’s decision was influenced by Labuschagne’s deceptive movement towards the pavilion following the false stroke.

“I think the umpire thought Labuschagne was walking, then he gave him out,” Waugh said on Fox Cricket.

“I reckon Paul Reiffel was going to give him not out, and then Labuschagne for some reason decided to start walking towards the dressing room, and then Paul Reiffel gave him out.

“It fooled Paul Reiffel, the walk-off.”

Former Australian spin bowler Kerry O’Keefe elaborated: “He’s just stitched him up in a neat little bow, hasn’t he?

“The thud to the keeper, and then he walks to the dressing room and dares him to do something. And so he gave him out, and then he went straight upstairs.

“That is the best stitch-up of the summer.”

Labuschagne survived until the dinner break, but was dismissed by Indian seam bowler Umesh Yadav early in the evening session for 47.

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