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The 10 Centimetre Blunder That Saved Australia's World Cup Backside

Australia beat the West Indies in the Cricket World Cup overnight but it took a little luck.

The Aussies started terribly at Trent Bridge. They were 4/38 early, on the ground where they were famously bowled out for 60 in the 2015 Ashes.

But they recovered from their bad start on this occasion, thanks to an ice cool 73 from Steve Smith -- how we've missed him -- as well as a career-best 92 off 60 from bowler-who-bats-a-bit, Nathan Coulter-Nile.

But the man who helped Australia most was perhaps an umpire.

At the end of the fifth over, West Indies dangerman and self-proclaimed "Universe Boss" Chris Gayle was trapped LBW by Mitchell Starc. Gayle departed for just 21.

But he should never have been out. The previous ball, the umpires missed a HUGE no-ball as Mitchell Starc overstepped the line. The TV cameras missed it too, but viewers at home captured it on social media.

Missed by THAT much. Image: Supplied.

After a no-ball, the next ball is supposed is a free-hit -- meaning batsmen can score but not be out.

Since the no-ball wasn't called, Gayle had no free hit. Players were unaware of this drama at the time, but images soon emerged showing what had happened.

Australia went on to make 288. The chase was tense, and West Indies looked the likely winner for much of it. But they eventually fell short with their 9/273.

For the record, Mitchell Starc just became the fastest man in One Day International history to take 150 wickets.

He took five overnight and appears well on track to repeat his Player of the Tournament performance from four years ago when Australia won its fifth World Cup.

This was a good escape by Australia.

Whether the official who missed the Starc no-ball escapes the wrath of cricket's governing body, the ICC, is another story.