S. Lanka batsman Dilshan earns reprieve under review trial

Published: Thursday, July 24, 2008, 21:30 [IST]
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Sri Lankan batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan on Thursday became the first beneficiary of an experimental rule allowing players to seek a second opinion on umpiring decisions in Test cricket.

Dilshan was initially given out caught behind off left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan by umpire Mark Benson of England, but asked the official to review the decision on the second day of the first Test against India here.

Benson consulted TV umpire Rudi Koertzen of South Africa before changing his decision as the ball had not touched the bat. Dilshan was then on one.

The rule is on trial in the current three-Test series. A batsman or fielding captain can request a review of any decision by referring it to the third official monitoring television replays.

Each team is allowed three unsuccessful review requests per innings but if one is successful they will get an additional appeal.

India made two unsuccessful leg-before appeals against Sri Lankans Malinda Warnapura and Dilshan off spinner Harbhajan Singh.

Left-handed opener Warnapura was on 86 and Dilshan on 19 when India captain Anil Kumble asked Benson to review the initial not-out decisions. Benson was proved right on both the occasions after consulting the TV umpire.

Warnapura went on to score 115 -- his second century in five Tests -- before falling in the afternoon session.

Dilshan was unbeaten on 20 as Sri Lanka reached 422-4 in their first innings at stumps.

A player can make a request for a review by making a "T" sign with his hands.

The rule applies for all dismissals except "timed out" when an incoming batsman is out if he takes too long to arrive at the crease after the fall of the previous wicket.

A top International Cricket Council (ICC) official said here Wednesday he did not believe the new rule would undermine the on-field umpires' authority as their word was still "final".

"It is an extension of the appeal. It doesn't undermine their roles. Their skill as umpires is still paramount. They have to make the decision (after consulting the TV umpire)," said ICC general manager Dave Richardson.

"I am confident it will work quite well. We must not forget what the real objective of this process is and that is to avoid obvious and clear mistakes."

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