Flower fumes over Harper error

Andy Flower, the England coach, attacks TV umpire Daryl Harper for his bizarre mistake which could cost his side the series in South Africa.

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Andy Flower, the England coach, last night attacked TV umpire Daryl Harper for his bizarre mistake which could cost his side the series in South Africa. Harper failed to turn up the stump microphone after England referred a caught behind decision off Graeme Smith - and missed a clear edge heard by millions of TV viewers all over the world. Smith, 15 at the time, went on to make his 20th Test century to all but end England's chances - weather permitting - of saving the second Test and their evaporate their hopes of holding on to a 1-0 series lead. "I went to see the match referee twice," fumed Flower. "At the first meeting I asked for the process they went through and he explained that the match referee gets a different audio feed to the one that SuperSport and Sky get.

"On subsequent investigation by us we found that was not correct. In fact one audio feed is used by everyone so I went back and saw him again and this time he said Daryl Harper hadn't switched on the volume on his mic. That's why we've heard the nick but the third umpire hasn't." England will submit an official complaint against Harper but Flower was incensed that the decision denied his side a way back into the match. "If it wasn't such a serious match for us I would have find it quite amusing but I find it very disappointing," added Flower after South Africa closed day two on 215 for two, a 35 run lead on a day when the weather truncated play. "The words he used were 'it was not deemed necessary to turn it up.' I've seen it myself and it's very clearly an edge." But Smith, who made 105, claimed he may not even have hit it. "There definitely was a noise but I didn't feel like a touched it," he said. "It's not my job to discuss what the third umpire looked at and what he heard. We all knew what technology was available going into the series so to be crying over spilt milk now is not right." @Email:sports@thenational.ae

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