CHANNEL Nine has been slammed for a final day Ashes bungle that cost Australians the chance to soak up the most magical moment of the summer.
Australia won the the third Ashes Test in Perth on Monday, securing an unassailable 3-0 series lead to bring the urn back Down Under. But some fans watching on TV have complained they weren't able to savour the glorious feeling of smashing the Poms because of an oversight on Nine's behalf.
Almost immediately after Chris Woakes edged Pat Cummins to wicketkeeper Tim Paine to hand the Aussies victory, Nine cut its coverage at the WACA and went to its news bulletin - which had already been delayed so the network could stay with the cricket to see if Australia won before the tea break.
Normally when Nine has cut to the news in this Test match it has told viewers to switch to another of its channels - Gem - to continue watching the on-field action. But this time viewers were reportedly given no such warning, leaving them confused as to how they could see the Aussies' celebrations.
Former Victorian wicketkeeper Darren Berry and SEN AFL expert Rohan Connolly were among those angry at the broadcaster's decision.
News.com.au has contacted Channel Nine for comment.
RUTHLESS SMITH WANTS MORE
Aussie captain Steve Smith, who celebrated a career highlight with his Test-best score of 239 at the WACA, has set his sights on a rare 5-0 series triumph. Only three Australian teams - in 1920/21, 2006/07 and 2013/14 - have achieved that feat.
"I would love to do that," said Smith, who admitted crying in the WACA dressing room when his emotions tipped over.
"I was part of the series back in 2013/14 when we did that and it was an amazing part of my life and everyone else's that was involved as well.
"We'll just take it one step at a time at the moment - and first of all enjoy the success we've had over the last couple of weeks."
The Australians bowled England out for 218 in their second innings after play resumed three hours late because overnight rain seeped through the covers and soaked an area of the pitch.
The leakage threatened to ruin the hosts' hopes of claiming the Ashes on Monday - and help England stay alive in the series.
"When we got to the ground, it wasn't fit to start," England captain Joe Root said.
"(But) the pitch didn't really misbehave or become dangerous so I think credit has to go to the umpires for making the right call when to start the game ... fair play, I think they got it right."
Paceman Josh Hazlewood then ripped through England's middle and lower order, finishing with 5/48.
It capped a remarkable turnaround given England were 4/368 in their first innings after winning the toss.
Smith and Mitch Marsh (181) produced a 301-run stand that turned the Test on its head.
"Obviously an Ashes series is huge for Australian cricketers and English cricketers and there is always that added pressure," Smith said. "It was my first Ashes series as captain (and) I wanted to make my mark and do something really special.
"What the boys have done over the last couple of weeks has been special."
The series continues on Boxing Day at the MCG with the final Test in Sydney from January 4.