Steven Smith top-scored for Australia with a crucial 70 © Getty Images
Steven Smith top-scored for Australia with a crucial 70 © Getty Images

London: Australia captain Steven Smith had no qualms about his part in the controversial dismissal of England’s Ben Stokes for obstructing the field in the second one-day international at Lord’s on Saturday. World Cup-holders Australia won by 64 runs to go 2-0 up in the five-match series. But that was all overshadowed by the exit of Stokes during England’s unsuccessful run chase. In the 26th over, Stokes struck a straight drive which was stopped by bowler Mitchell Starc. SCORECARD: England vs Australia, 2nd ODI at Lord’s

Left-arm paceman Starc then hurled the ball back hard towards Stokes who, leaning back back and turning his head away, stopped it with a hand taken off the bat.  Australia appealed, believing Stokes had prevented a possible direct hit run out on his own stumps, and on-field umpires Kumar Dharmasena of Sri Lanka and former England batsman Tim Robinson referred the issue to third umpire Joel Wilson. Ben Stokes dismissal: England’s handling of the situation was dismal

The relevant cricket Law or rule talks about “wilful obstruction” and does allow batsmen to protect themselves from injury. West Indian official Wilson gave Stokes out for 10, sparking the unusual sound of a chorus of boos at the ‘home of cricket’. Smith could have withdrawn the appeal. VIDEO: Ben Stokes’ reaction was not deliberate, reasserts Eoin Morgan

But he saw no reason why he should and said the close-at-hand view of wicket-keeper Matthew Wade strengthened him in his original decision. “Wadey had a good view of it from behind the stumps, and he said straightaway that he thought the ball was missing Stokesy and was going to go on and hit the stumps” said Smith. READ: Ben Stokes dismissed ‘Obstructing the field’

“The way I saw it, he was out of his ground, and he wilfully put his hand out — which is the rule … and he got given out by the third umpire,” added the captain, who top-scored with 70 when batting conditions were at their toughest in an Australia total of 309 for seven. “If you look at it … the ball was going towards the stumps, and wasn’t even going to hit him. So I think he’s put his hand out to stop the ball.”