WATCH: Warner's 'not-out' gesture sustained after ambiguous catch
David Warner was at 73 runs when he narrowly avoided a dismissal during Australia's 2023 ODI World Cup match against the Netherlands in Delhi. This incident invoked the 'full control' rule which had also played a role in a Mitchell Starc 'catch' being nullified during the 2023 Ashes.
Despite an early loss with Mitchell Marsh departing at 9 runs in the fourth over, David Warner and Steve Smith continued to amass runs against the Netherlands after Pat Cummins chose to bat. By the 22.4th over, they had reached 156-2 when Bas de Leede came in to bowl to Warner.
De Leede delivered a full toss just outside off. Warner elegantly drove it through cover but Roelof van der Merwe, stationed at short extra cover executed a remarkable dive to his right, securing what seemed like an exceptional catch.
The on-field umpires Michael Gough and Sharfuddoula harbored doubts regarding the legitimacy of the catch. After deliberation, they deferred the decision to the television umpire Marais Erasmus.
van der Merwe dismisses Smith few deliveries later with another one-handed stunner
Upon reviewing the footage, it became evident that the ball had most likely made contact with the ground just as van der Merwe's hand did. Erasmus subsequently adjudged Warner not out.
His decision was in accordance with Law 33 (“a catch will be fair if the ball is held in the hand or hands of a fielder, even if the hand holding the ball is touching the ground”). The law also states: “The act of making a catch shall start from the time when the ball first comes into contact with a fielder’s person and shall end when a fielder obtains complete control over both the ball and his/her own movement.”
This particular regulation faced scrutiny during the 2023 Ashes when an attempt to catch Ben Duckett by Starc was deemed 'not out' by the TV umpire for similar reasons.
Warner dispatched the subsequent ball for four but just four deliveries later, van der Merwe seized another outstanding catch—this time at backward point to dismiss Smith for a commendable 71 off 68 balls.