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Justin Langer column

Michael Beer is denied a maiden wicket
Umpire Bowden confirms Beer's no-ball as the spinner is denied a maiden wicket

Justin Langer
By Justin Langer
Australia batting/leadership coach

According to tradition, cardinal sins include any of the seven deadly sins which are often described as 'unforgivable errors or misjudgments'.

In Test cricket there are a few cardinal sins or errors. One of those is run-outs and the other is no-balls.

Magnify the second of these sins, with a wicket, and the definition of Test cricket's deadly sin lies right in front of your eyes.

Last week in Melbourne, Australia paid dearly, when Matt Prior was "dismissed" off a Mitchell Johnson no-ball.

TOM FORDYCE BLOG

Not only did it give Prior and England a life, but it also changed the momentum of the game from that moment on.

Time will tell whether the "dismissal" of Alastair Cook proves to be as significant, but the potential is there for England to make debutant Michael Beer pay for his no-ball wicket.

Not only have Australia paid the price for his overstepping the mark, but Beer will also be ruing his missed opportunity for a first Test scalp.

After a nervous start against the rampant Kevin Pietersen, Beer's day, and maybe career, took a step forward when Cook mis-timed a lofted drive to mid-on on 46.

Johnson sympathises with Beer

Much to the delight of a vast section of the crowd, the Australian players and Beer himself, the Test match had taken a turn for the better.

That is, until Billy Bowden asked the third umpire for a front foot ruling.

The cameras confirmed a no-ball and at stumps Cook remained unbeaten on 61.

After another tight day of Test cricket the stage is set for this battle to continue.

The pitch looks competitive and Australia have three English players back in the changing room but much work is to be done for either team to claim honours in this final Test match.

From Sydney,

JL



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see also
Cook builds England reply at SCG
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Jonathan Agnew column
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Fifth Ashes Test day two photos
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Live cricket on the BBC
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England in Australia 2010-11
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