Colombo:Anil Kumble became the first cricketer to avail the umpire referral system, while Tillakratne Dilshan its first beneficiary as the innovation came into play on day two of the first India-Sri Lanka Test here today.
The much talked about system made its debut in the 46th over when umpire Mark Benson turned down a leg-before appeal against Malinda Warnapura off Harbhajan Singh.
Kumble, using his right, sought the opinion of the third umpire, who upheld Benson's decision.
Warnapura, who struck his second Test century, was on 86 when Harbhajan made a confident leg before appeal. South African television umpire Rudi Koertzen, after scrutinising the replay, went with Benson's ruling.
This was for the first time that a decision other than stumping and run out was made with the help of the third umpire.
A similar situation was witnessed in the 106th over when Zaheer Khan apparently had Dilshan caught behind. The Sri Lankan challenged the decision and eventually was ruled not out, thus becoming the first player to have a decision overturned.
India wasted their second and penultimate referral in the last over when Dilshan's fluffed slog-sweep saw him being hit on the pad by a Harbhajan delivery. Though the ball had pitched outside the leg stump, Kumble decided to refer it and the decision again went in favour of the batsman.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) introduced the referral system on an experimental basis for this Test series.