Strange Dismissals in Cricket as of 2021 – Test and ODI Matches

Some dismissals defy belief and will forever be remembered for the bizarre way in which the batter in question managed to get out.

5 Strange Dismissals in Test Cricket

1. Michael Vaughan, England

Dismissal: Handled the Ball
Match: 3rd Test against India at Bengaluru, 2001

Future England captain Michael Vaughan was entering his best period as a batsman and this strange dismissal came at a time when he was looking very comfortable at the crease. With the tourists at 206/3, Vaughan looked in no trouble at all until a delivery got lodged between his arm and his pads as he was attempting a sweep.

There was no chance of the ball going on to hit the wicket so the England number 4 picked it up and flicked it back to the fielders. Technically, this was against the laws of cricket and India were within their rights to appeal. Vaughan was correctly given out and the tourists duly stuttered to 336 all out.

Technically, it was a justified dismissal but there was a lot of talk after the match regarding the ‘spirit of the game’. I can remember seeing this live and there was clearly no attempt from Vaughan to obstruct the fielders or to prevent the ball from rolling back onto the stumps. However, the ball was technically not ‘dead’ so the batsman was very careless in thinking he could simply pick it up.

2. Azhar Ali, Pakistan

Dismissal: Run out
Match: 2nd Test against Australia, at Abu Dhabi 16 October 2018

Azhar Ali was moving along serenely in this match and, curiously, he was on the same score as Michael Vaughan – 64 – when this bizarre incident occurred. Facing Australian seamer Peter Siddle, Ali steered the ball through gully and down to the third man boundary.

Clearly, the batsman thought that the ball had hit the rope: The fielder, Mitchell Starc, had seemed to give up initially but later saw that the ball was not going to make it to the boundary. As Starc speeded up, Ali and his batting partner simply had a chat mid-pitch as the ball came back in for wicket keeper Tim Paine to complete a simple and strange run out.

 Azhar Ali (Reuters Photo)
Azhar Ali (Reuters Photo)

3. Inzamam-ul-Haq, Pakistan

Dismissal: Hit Wicket
Match: 3rd Test against England, at Leeds 4 August 2006

This is not a dismissal that the great Inzamam-ul-Haq will want to remember but it will undoubtedly be replayed for many years to come. Monty Panesar was the bowler and, as he delivered from left arm, round the wicket, Inzy shaped to sweep.

The Pakistani skipper missed but the effort that he had put into the shot saw him start to topple backwards. Inzaman couldn’t stop that backward momentum and he firstly brushed, and subsequently demolished the stumps to gift England a hit wicket dismissal.

4. Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan

Dismissal: Run Out
Match: 1st Test against India, at Delhi 22 November 2007

Another Pakistani run out makes it into fourth position on this list and this was even worse for the team as it came against old rivals India. It’s a really bizarre piece of footage and you have to wonder what was going through Misbah’s head as the action played out.

Pakistan were struggling at 230/8 and only Misbah, with an unbeaten 82, was offering any resistance. Looking for another single, he played the ball out to point and set off for what looked to be a comfortable run. India’s Dinesh Karthik collected the ball and threw to the stumps at the bowler’s end.

Misbah was guilty of ball watching and, instead of just grounding his bat, he jogged in casually and seemed to jump out of the way just as the throw reached the stumps, completing a direct hit and an embarrassing run out.

Misbah-ul-Haq
Misbah-ul-Haq (AFP Photo)

5. Leonard Hutton, England

Dismissal: Obstructing the field
Match: 5th Test against South Africa, at London 16 August 1951

Not only was this a strange dismissal, it was the first time that a batsman had ever been given out for Obstructing the Field in Test Match Cricket. The great English batter Sir Len Hutton was the unfortunate victim and South Africa’s off spinner Athol Rowan was the bowler on this occasion.

The delivery that claimed the wicket reared up off a good length and hit Hutton on the glove. It continued an upward trajectory, rolling up the batsman’s arm, by which point he’d lost sight of where it was travelling. Fearful that the ball would hit the wicket, Hutton took a blind swipe with his bat.

He missed the delivery completely but, in taking aim, the batsman prevented South African wicket keeper Russell Endean from claiming a fair catch. The fielders appealed and umpire Dai Davies gave Hutton out.

Under the laws of the game at that time, Davies was entirely correct: While Hutton didn’t appear to intend to obstruct the wicket keeper, he did wilfully wave his bat which distracted the stumper and that was enough for the decision to be upheld.

5 Weird Dismissals in ODI Cricket

1. Brendan Taylor: Zimbabwe

Dismissal: Hit Wicket
Match: 2nd ODI against Bangladesh at Harare, 18th July 2021

In one of his final appearances for Zimbabwe, experienced batsman Brendan Taylor attempts a ramp shot at a back of a length ball outside off stump. It appears, initially, that the batsman misses the ball which passes harmlessly through to the wicket keeper.

Taylor then walks to square leg: The commentators notice that one of the bails is on the ground but nobody, including the two on-field umpires, seem to know what has happened. An appeal comes in from Bangladesh’s Shakib Al-Hasan which is then referred to the third official.

The replay then shows that Taylor, after the ball has passed, swings his bat in a wide arc behind him and clips the bail. It was a really strange and unnecessary act on Taylor’s part and this has to be the weirdest dismissal of his long career.

2. Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka

Dismissal: Hit Wicket
Match: Final ODI against India, at Colombo on 14 September 2009

Facing a low full toss from the left arm bowler, Kumar Sangakkara looks to power the ball through mid wicket. He completes the stroke but, as he looks to follow through, the bat slips from his grasp.

Unfortunately for the batsman, the bat travels no distance and simply drops behind him onto the stumps. Under the laws of the game, this goes down as a hit wicket dismissal but it has to be one of the most unluckiest of its kind.

Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara (Reuters Photo)

3. Inzamam-ul Haq, Pakistan

Dismissal: Obstructing the Field
Match: 1st Test against India, at Peshawar 6 February 2006

Poor Inzamam is the only player to appear on both of these lists and this dismissal against rivals India was particularly unfortunate. Like a lot of the instances on this list, it all begins innocuously enough with Inzy pushing a conventional delivery to the mid off fielder.

Suresh Raina was the fielder in question and, noticing that Inzaman is some way out of his crease, he throws to the batsman’s end. Inzy simply stands in its way and blocks the throw with his bat leaving the on-field umpires with no choice but to uphold the appeal from the Indian fielders.

4. Peter Kirsten, South Africa

Dismissal: Run Out
Match: 2nd ODI against India, at Port Elizabeth 9 December 1992

With South Africa having just been readmitted into international cricket, these games were billed as the ‘Friendly Series’ but there was nothing particularly friendly about this incident. As the non-striking batsman, Peter Kirsten had already been warned twice about backing up too far by the great Indian all rounder Kapil Dev.

When it happened a third time, Kapil took off the bails, prior to delivering the ball, to complete a successful run out. The practise is known as a Mankad and it has caused controversy ever since but, having already been warned, Kirsten could have had no complaints on this particular occasion.

5. Danushka Gunathilaka, Sri Lanka

Dismissal: Obstructing the Field
Match: 1st ODI against West Indies, at North Sound 10 March 2021

This is a recent dismissal that I remember watching live and very few neutral cricket fans thought that this should have been given out. It’s also another occasion where the batsman, and his team were moving along quite nicely before the decision was given.

Gunathilaka was on 55 when he played defensively at Kieron Pollard and the ball dropped to his feet. He then appears to look for a single before sending back his partner. Pollard tries to retrieve the ball to attempt a run out but it is stuck beneath the batter’s feet. The bowler appeals and, after a lengthy review, the third umpire gives it out.

The problem with this one is that Gunathilaka doesn’t appear to know where the ball is so can he genuinely be intentionally obstructing the field? I suspect that the majority would feel that this wasn’t out but it doesn’t really matter now as the umpire’s decision is final.