11 sensational run outs in cricket history

The advent of T20 cricket has finally given fielding the importance it deserves. But over the ages, one has seen numerous brilliant efforts that remain etched in memory. They are by no means the best, but just some of the countless efforts that is available on YouTube. H Natarajan picks 11 sensational efforts.

1. Roger Harper runs out Graham Gooch, August 20, 1987, Rest of the World vs MCC, Lord’s

Roger Harper was blessed with cat-like athleticism. And the finest proof of that came in this high-profile match at Lord’s. It was the opening day of the MCC vs Rest of the World game and Graham Gooch and Mike Gatting had stitched together a century partnership. The Rest of the World were desperately looking for wicket. And that came in the form of a rare run-out: Gooch stepped out and drove Harper straight. The bowler picked the ball on the follow-through and hit the wickets at the striker’s end before Gooch could retrace his steps back in time. The batsman was not looking for a run, but the bowler sensed an opportunity in split seconds to stun the batsman — and, indeed, everyone else on the field and around the ground.


2. Mark Waugh runs out Gordon Greenidge, March 20, 1991, Australia vs West Indies, 5th ODI, Bourda

Richie Richardson drove Mike Whitney to deep cover where Mark Waugh covered lot of ground before swooping on the ball and rifling in a flat throw — all in one smooth action. Waugh, who is known for his proficiency in the slips, could just see one stump from the distance of the boundary, but such was his accuracy that Gordon Greenidge failed in his attempt to complete the second run as the throw hit the stumps directly. It was quite sensational considering the ground he had to cover and the lack of balance Waugh was in at the time of firing in the return.


3. Chandrakant Pandit runs out David Boon, January 28, 1992, India vs Australia, 4th Test, Adelaide Oval

This is one moment on the cricket field Chandrkant Pandit will remember forever. David Boon jabbed down a ball from young Sachin Tendulkar to the leg and ambled for a single. Pandit, from behind the wickets, sprinted towards the ball, removed one glove and fired at the non-striking end with Boon, not anticipating the alacrity, caught off-guard and out of the crease.


4. Jonty Rhodes runs out Inzamam-ul-Haq, March 8, 1992, South Africa vs Pakistan, World Cup, Brisbane

This was the moment that gave Jonty Rhodes legendary status as a fielder and, arguably, inspired a generation to lift fielding efforts to unprecedented levels. Inzamam-ul-Haq tried to swing Brian McMillan, but missed. The ball hit his pads and travelled towards the off side. As the batsman tried to steal a single, Rhodes swopped on the ball and kept running towards the stump. Non-striker Mushtaq Ahmed saw the danger and asked Inzamam to get back to his crease. In those split seconds, Rhodes realized that he won’t be able to reach before the batsman and flung himself at the stumps with the ball to catch the batsman short of the ground. It was a magical moment — a moment that will rank among the greatest fielding effort in anybody’s book. The picture of Rhodes airborne and parallel to the ground with ball in hand remains etched in memory.

5. Michael Slater runs out Gary Kirsten, March 17, 1994, Australia vs South Africa, 2nd Test, Cape Town

This run out had shades of the iconic run out of Inzamam-ul-Haq by Jonty Rhodes in the 1992 World Cup. Kirsten went on his backfoot to push Glenn McGrath to short mid-off. Michael Slater, standing a bit wide, covered some ground, swooped on the ball and was airborne when he hit the stumps with an underarm throw with Kirsten struggling to make the crease. The difference between the Rhodes effort and Slater’s is that, the former effected the run-out at the striker’s end, while Slater genius came at the non-striker’s end.


6. Greg Blewett runs out Sadagoppan Ramesh, December 11, 1999, Australia vs India, 1st Adelaide Oval

Devang Gandhi offered a straight bat to Glenn McGrath. As the ball sped towards the untenanted straight field, Greg Blewett sprinted from close-in on the off to half way down to the boundary. As he picked up the ball and made a 70-yard return at the non-striking end, Sadagoppan Ramesh was turning back for the fourth run. However, he was centimeters short when Blewett’s direct hit disturbed the stumps.


7. AB de Villiers runs out Simon Katich, March 5, 2006, South Africa vs Australia, 3rd ODI, Port Elizabeth

It’s often said that AB de Villiers is a superman. Here is one powerful example of that. Simon Katich pushed a ball from Andrew Hall towards mid-off and looked what should have been a comfortable single. But AB de Villiers, fielding somewhere at short cover, intercepted the ball and was still tumbling when he threw the ball at the non-striker’s end. The incredible piece of athleticism was just took quick of everybody — the batsman, the bowler and even everybody watching. One has to watch the video more than once to figure out how de Villiers made that stunning run-out!


8. Ricky Ponting runs out Geraint Jones, December 18, 2006, Australia vs England, 3rd Test, Perth

England were heading towards an inevitable defeat when Geraint Jones attempted a sweep off Shane Warne. He failed to connect as the ball rapped on his pads. The entire close-in cordon went in appeal and was looking at the umpire. But there was one man who saw another opportunity — Ricky Ponting. Standing at silly mid-off, he picked up the ball and hit the wicket, with the sweeping Jones out of the crease.


9. Xavier Doherty run out of Upul Tharanga, November 3, 2010, Australia vs Sri Lanka, MCG

Doherty took four wickets in this match, his One-Day International debut. But before he got his first wicket, he showed his prowess as a fielder when he intercepted a drive by Upul Tharanaga at mid-off. As the batsmen ran for a single, Doherty threw the ball at the non-striking end while still on his knees to catch Tharanga short of the crease.


10. Jesse Ryder runs out James Foster, Northern Districts vs Wellington Firebirds, T20 

Jesse Ryder bowled an innoucous ball which the batsman played on the off side. Ryder picked the ball on his follow through and realised that non-striker James Foster was trying to steal a single. Ryder saw the opportunity had backhanded throw at the non-striking end to catch Foster out of the crease.


11. Dwayne Bravo runs out Virat Kohli, May 4, 2015, CSK vs RCB, IPL, Chennai

This effort by Dwayne Bravo changed the course of the match in favour of Chennai Super Kings. The run-out reminded one of Harper in the MCC vs Rest of the World mentioned above. The only difference between the two is that Bravo got the advantage of the bounce. But then he had very little reaction time, as compared to Harper and Kohli had hardly stepped out, unlike Gooch. It was quite sensational.


(H Natarajan is a journalistic schizophrenic who oscillates between two polar opposite forms of writing — analytical and insightful on the one hand, and rib-tickling humour on the other)