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Jonathan Agnew column

Jonathan Agnew
By Jonathan Agnew
BBC cricket correspondent

Controversy continues to haunt umpire Daryl Harper - the third official, who once in the Caribbean unwittingly had his all important television screen switched to zoom mode, preventing him from seeing the ball.

England were frustrated when Smith was given not out
England were frustrated when Smith was given not out

Today he failed to raise the volume control on his sound box beyond four out of a possible 10 while studying a review.

This meant that he failed to detect a vital edge from Graeme Smith's bat when he had scored only 15.

Smith went on to score a century while, off the field, England demanded an official explanation from the match referee.

With so much time, trouble and effort having been taken in persuading everyone of the value of the Decision Review System to the sceptics, one can only imagine what the reaction of the ICC will be to such a basic error.

It is embarrassing for the game and, from England's perspective, it was a critical moment in the course of this Test match.

England started the day well behind anyway and desperately needed a good start.

The Smith incident occurred in the fourth over of the day and although Ashwell Prince edged Stuart Broad to Graeme Swann at second slip for 19 in the fifth so they still had their early opening, Smith put the controversy behind him and while batting was never easy with the ball continuing to move around for the quicks - and spin for Swann - he found a determined ally in Hashim Amla.

Not only were England incapable of taking a wicket, but Smith and Amla scored uncomfortably quickly for Andrew Strauss.

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Smith took to Swann, smearing him over midwicket with more than just an element of risk attached and it was rather worrying from an England perspective to see Paul Collingwood bowling as early as the 40th over.

Smith and Amla took South Africa into the lead and Smith duly reached his inevitable century before, on 105, he edged a delivery from Ryan Sidebottom to Strauss at first slip and left to a standing ovation.

Shortly after, a tremendous storm hit the Wanderers, rendering the entire ground underwater, and yet, just three hours later, a further four overs were possible before bad light ended play.



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see also
Reprieved Smith makes England pay
15 Jan 10 |  England
South Africa v England day two photos
15 Jan 10 |  England
England escape in thrilling draw
07 Jan 10 |  England
England wrap up emphatic Test win
30 Dec 09 |  England
England scrape draw in first Test
20 Dec 09 |  England
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
England in South Africa 2009-10
17 Jan 10 |  England


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