Watch: Matthew Wade Blocks England Bowler From Taking Catch, Sparks Controversy
Australia vs England: Matthew Wade came under the scanner after he seemingly obstructed Mark Wood, who was trying to take a catch off his own bowling.
There was controversy during the first T20I between Australia and England as Matthew Wade seemingly blocked Mark Wood from taking a return catch in Perth. In the 17th over of Australia's chase of 209, Wade top-edged a pull off Wood onto his helmet and the ball ballooned straight up in the air. The England pacer ran in towards the striker's end to try and take a return catch, but Wade, turning back towards the crease, extended his arm and restricted Wood from getting to the ball, which landed safely.
England captain Jos Buttler raised his arms in doubt, but the visitors did not appeal and Wade was spared.
Watch: Matthew Wade blocks Mark Wood from reaching the ball
The incident sparked controversy, with many on Twitter claiming it was against the 'spirit of cricket.
Interesting Spirit of cricket talk Wade didn't know where the ball was but he did put his hand to stop Wood.— Nikhil (@CricCrazyNIKS) October 9, 2022
It would have made the discussion even more fun if Wade had won it for Aussies. pic.twitter.com/DWo6JnVDl8— Silly Point (@FarziCricketer) October 9, 2022
What Wade did there was clear obstruction and prevented wood from taking the catch. I don't understand the fielding team having to take the moral high ground and not appealing when the batter shouldn't be doing such stuff in the first place. pic.twitter.com/4l3vberUF8— Meet (@raut_meeet) October 9, 2022
Wade, however, could not take Australia over the line as he fell in the final over to Sam Curran. England went on to win the high-scoring thriller by eight runs.
Alex Hales and Jos Buttler gave the visitors the perfect start, putting on an opening stand of 132 runs. Hales hit 84 off 51 deliveries, while Buttler smashed 68 off just 32 balls.
As the rest of the batters failed to fire, Chris Woakes hit an unbeaten 13 off 7 to help power them to 208/6.
Mark Wood then took three key wickets to help restrict Australia to 200/9 as England took a 1-0 series lead.