(Reuters) - Sydney Thunder batter Usman Khawaja was left feeling hard done by after his controversial dismissal paved the way for their elimination from the Big Bash League finals at the hands of the Adelaide Strikers on Sunday.
The stylish left-hander was given out caught by Fawad Ahmed at short third man despite replays which appeared to show the ball touching the grass as the diving fielder scooped it up at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The on-field decision was out and the third umpire declined to overturn it.
His dismissal for 23 opened the door for Adelaide, who went on to win by six runs and advance to another elimination final against the Sydney Sixers at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday.
The winner of that match will play the Perth Scorchers in the final of the domestic Twenty20 competition in Melbourne on Friday.
"At the end of the day the soft signal cost me," Khawaja said.
"I've never been a big fan of the soft signal. When they give it out on the field it makes it hard to overturn.
"I just said (to) the umpires on field, 'I can't believe that a blade of grass didn't touch the ball there.'
"It looked like a blade of grass 100%. They didn't really give me a direct answer."
Khawaja, back for a brief spell in domestic cricket after recently scoring a century in both innings for Australia in the fourth Ashes test against England, said he was not accusing Ahmed of dishonesty in claiming the catch.
"As a fielder I know you 100% don't always know (if the ball has bounced)," Khawaja said.
"I'm not questioning Fawad at all. I just thought it bounced."
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford)