Australian spinner Ashton Agar was embroiled in a tense exchange with umpire Paul Reiffel during the first ODI against England at Adelaide Oval on Thursday afternoon.
In the 12th over of England’s knock, No. 3 batter David Malan flicked a short delivery from Agar towards mid-wicket, prompting the Australian to chase after the ball, running across the crease and bumping into non-striker Sam Billings.
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Reiffel was not impressed with the 29-year-old, immediately interjecting and telling Agar: “Mate, you can’t just keep running across the wicket.”
Agar responded: “What do you mean? I’m trying to anticipate the ball.”
Reiffel continued: “He sent that to mid-wicket, mate. You can’t — you’re getting in the way.”
While returning to the top of his mark, Agar was overheard on the stumps mics muttering: “For f***’s sake”.
Australia opted for two strike spinners for Thursday’s series opener against England, dropping experienced paceman Josh Hazlewood in favour of Agar.
The West Australian finished with 0/62 from his 10 overs, taking two regulation catches and running out Liam Dawson with a direct hit from point.
But Agar’s finest moment in the field came in the 45th over when he saved five runs with an ‘unbelievable’ piece of fielding on the boundary rope.
England centurion Dawid Malan slapped a Pat Cummins short ball towards deep mid-wicket, where Agar was perched on the rope.
The tweaker leapt in the air and caught the ball with an outstretched hand, only to flick the Kookaburra back into play before landing over the boundary.
It may not have created a wicket, but Agar‘s athleticism stunned the Fox Cricket commentary team.
“That’s crazy, that is crazy,” Australian legend Adam Gilchrist said.
“That is modern cricket at its finest, what a play from Ashton Agar.”
Former Australian batter Mark Waugh continued: “That‘s an unbelievable bit of fielding.”