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Ben Stokes says obstruction dismissal was act of self-defence

LONDON: Ben Stokes has insisted he did not wilfully obstruct the field during the second one-day international at Lord’s on Saturday after he suffered one of cricket’s rarest forms of dismissal.

England’s 64-run defeat by world champions Australia was overshadowed by the controversy that ensued early in the 26th over of their run chase.

Ben Stokes, went down the pitch and played a Mitchell Starc delivery back to the left-arm fast bowler, who then aimed a powerful throw back in his direction as he tried for a run-out.

As Stokes leaned back and turned to make his ground, the ball hit the Durham all-rounder’s arm.

Australia appealed and, after lengthy deliberation involving the third umpire, Stokes was given out, much to the anger of England captain Eoin Morgan, who tried to take the matter up with opposing skipper Steven Smith.

Batsmen are allowed to protect themselves but they must not, under the Laws of Cricket, “wilfully” obstruct the field.

Stokes told ESPN Cricinfo on Monday: “A guy was standing there five feet away from me and it was just a complete reaction.

“I didn’t put my hand there wilfully, it was purely out of human reaction to protect myself. But the decision was made, there’s nothing I can do but it wasn’t wilful whatsoever.

“It’s one of those decisions where you can’t look back and have any regrets because it’s been made. You can’t change what’s happened it’s just a shame it came to the uproar it has.”

The series continues at Old Trafford on Tuesday, with Australia 2-0 up with three to play.

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