Defiant Vaughan leads England fightback - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Defiant Vaughan leads England fightback

By Michael Crutcher 22/11/2002 06:28:15 AM Comments (0)

English batting hero Michael Vaughan was defiant about standing his ground against Australia as catching controversies marred the tourists' slick start to the second Test in Adelaide.

Vaughan posted an outstanding 177 but he was later explaining why he didn't walk on 19 when Justin Langer claimed what appeared to be a fair catch at point from the bowling of Andrew Bichel.

Bichel had his revenge - about six hours later when Vaughan was out in the final over of the first day to leave England smiling at 4-295 at stumps.

But Bichel was swept up in his own bewildering catching issue in the 15th over when he claimed a return catch from England opener Marcus Trescothick, who also stood his ground.

Replays showed Bichel taking the ball on the half-volley and celebrating the "catch", which was ruled not out by third umpire Steve Davis, but there was no clear decision on the Vaughan incident.

The ground umpires referred the catch to Davis, who had to give Vaughan the benefit of the doubt because of inconclusive television replays.

The Yorkshire batsman insisted he had done nothing wrong.

"I'm in my right to do that," Vaughan said.

"There was a suspicion in my mind that the ball had touched the ground and that's why I stood my ground.

"I didn't make the rules that you could call for the replay. Now they're doing that I think a lot of batsmen will do what I did today.

"It's not criminal, it's just the way cricket is going. It probably is a little bit sad but batting is a tough game and there are going to be games when you're given out when you're not out.

"If I got away with it, I got away with it, but the cameras suggested the ball may have touched the ground."

Australian coach John Buchanan admitted television footage was not allowing umpires to judge whether catches were carrying.

"It's not providing the answers that it's there to provide," Buchanan said.

The International Cricket Council has already decided the third umpire will only be able to rule on catches during the World Cup next February and March if the ground umpires are unsighted.

Vaughan still had not seen the replay of the catch but why would he walk?

Australian batsmen have stood their ground before and today wasn't the day to change the practice because England, riddled with injury problems and nursing the embarrassment of a 384-run loss in the first Test, needed a hero.

With No.3 Mark Butcher initially laid up with a migraine during the morning session, Vaughan should have stayed at the wicket until he was virtually escorted from the ground.

He lasted 371 minutes for the best knock of his blossoming career, smacking 22 fours and three sixes in one of the most damaging assaults on Australia's bowling attack.

But he was almost struck by the English injury curse before play began.

After John Crawley was ruled out with a hip problem, Vaughan tweaked his troublesome right knee during the warm-ups.

He was nursing a shoulder injury after copping knocks from Bichel and Jason Gillespie.

Bichel had an eventful day and it was unclear why he thought he had caught Trescothick, who become the first wicket to fall when he chopped Glenn McGrath (1-62) on to his stumps for 35.

England captain Nasser Hussain, who won the toss, made a valuable 47 as England began taking back the momentum which Australia built during the first Test.

Steve Waugh's team was lamenting five dropped catches - some of them very sharp - which included a missed chance from Vaughan on 56.

But Ricky Ponting took a remarkable catch at silly cover to dismiss young batsman Robert Key (one) off the bowling of Shane Warne (2-83).

Key had been elevated to No.3 while Butcher rested but the left-hander resumed at No.5 and his polished 22 not out ensured England reached a solid position at stumps.

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