10 most bizarre run-outs in cricket history

Aakash Arya

Adam Zampa getting a hit

'Cricket is a funny old game.'

Over the years, many cricketers have lived this saying in bizarre yet comical situations. Despite playing at the highest of levels on the national and the international stages, they have found themselves stuck in embarrassing situations in front of jam-packed stadiums.

The ridiculous scenes that are created in the middle are usually a result of mental lapses by the players. The batsmen, bowlers and fielders are all equally likely to make an embarrassing mistake, but the viewers don't complain because they get to see something truly spectacular - even if in an unintentional way.

On that note, let's take a look at 10 of the most bizarre run-outs ever, across all formats, in cricket history. 

Note: The list is in no particular order.

#1 Misbah-ul-Haq vs India, November 2007 (Delhi)

Misbah-ul-Haq

In the first Test of the 2007 Test series between India and Pakistan, Misbah-ul-Haq showcased a unique method of getting out.

The Indian bowling department kept the opposition batters in control, and Misbah-ul-Haq occupied the crease for more than 200 balls. But while batting on a score of 82, he played a shot on the off-side and called his partner through for a single.

When he was about to reach the crease at the other end, he jumped to evade Dinesh Karthik's throw from the deep. Little did he know that the throw would result in a direct-hit and he would get himself run-out in bizarre fashion.

#2 Alastair Cook vs India, December 2012 (Kolkata)

Alastair Cook

In midst of the 2012 Test series between India and England, Alastair Cook was enjoying one of the most prolonged purple patches of his career. Apart from showcasing some individual brilliance, he also led England to a Test series win in tough conditions.

However, Cook also fell victim to one of the most bizarre run-outs ever, while batting on score of 190.

Kevin Pietersen flicked Zaheer Khan to the leg side and Cook took off from the other end in search of a single, but Pietersen sent him back. Kohli grabbed the ball and released it in quick time to hit the wickets at the non-striker's end.

Cook, who was comfortably within reach of the crease, lifted his bat to let the ball pass, and in turn ran himself out.

#3 Allan Donald vs Australia (Semi-Final, ICC Cricket World Cup 1999)

South Africa threw away their WC hopes with a disastrous run-out in the 1999 World Cup semi-final

One of the most unfortunate and high-profile run-outs took place in the semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 1999 between South Africa and Australia at Edgbaston.

After hitting the first two balls for boundaries, Lance Klusener wanted a single on the fourth ball. However, his partner Allan Donald was busy watching the ball and failed to respond to the call. He took off late and scampered towards the batting end in vain.

Adam Gilchrist took off the bails as Australia qualified for the final and eventually won the WC.

[The run-out can be watched from the 03:20 mark in the video]

#4 Azhar Ali vs Australia, October 2018 (Abu Dhabi)

A brain-freeze moment from Azhar Ali 

After a win in the first Test, Pakistan were looking solid once again in the second. Azhar Ali was batting beautifully and had just scored a half-century in the second innings.

But then a brain-freeze moment left the entire world shocked. After getting a thick edge off Peter Siddle towards the third-man region, Ali walked towards the non-striker end, thinking that the ball had reached the boundary.

However, the ball had stopped close to the boundary before Mitchell Starc threw it to captain Tim Paine, who dislodged the bails. 

#5 Virender Sehwag vs Sri Lanka, February 2007 (Visakhapatnam)

Virender Sehwag

If anyone made a compilation of the laziest run-outs in cricket, Virender Sehwag's run-out against Sri Lanka in 2007 in Visakhapatnam would probably be right at the top.

Having played a cut-shot, Sehwag wanted a single. He jogged his way across the 22-yards but he didn't enter the crease.

The throw from the deep hit the stumps directly and brought an entertaining knock of 46 runs to an end.

#6 AB de Villiers vs Zimbabwe (Harare)

AB de Villiers' 'Eye of the Tiger' look

In a match between South Africa and Zimbabwe played at the Harare Sports Cub, AB de Villiers got out in the worst possible manner.

De Villiers faced Prosper Utseya while batting on a score of one. Utseya bowled a ball down the leg-side, which the batsman tried to nudge past the keeper Richmond Mutumbami.

As soon as the ball went past him, De Villiers looked for a single. But he didn't realise that the ball hadn't gone past the keeper, who obliged and took off the bails.

As funny as it looked, De Villiers went off the field infuriated with himself, leaving everyone, including his team-mates, more surprised than upset.

#7 AB de Villiers [No-Look] vs South Africa (2006)

AB de Villiers has always been superhuman in the field

South Africa's De Villiers features on this list again - but this time for the fantastic run-out he pulled off to dismiss Simon Katich in the famous series where 400 runs were scored for the first time in ODIs.

In an ODI between South Africa and Australia, Australia were going smoothly at 99 for 1, when an Andrew Hall delivery was played by Katich a short distance away from De Villiers at cover. As Katich scampered for a run, a diving De Villiers threw the ball while cartwheeling at the same time.

To everyone's surprise, the throw hit the stumps directly and induced a run-out.

Once the replays were shown, it was clear that De Villiers wasn't looking at the stumps or the batsman while attempting the throw.

#8 Ricky Ponting vs England (Trent Bridge, 2005 Ashes)

2005 Ashes Test

In the memorable 2005 Ashes series, Australian captain Ricky Ponting endured one of the harshest run-outs in the history of the game: by the 12th man. Australia were asked to follow-on and were still 104 runs behind when the incident occurred.

Damien Martyn played Andrew Flintoff with soft hands and ran for a single. Ponting obliged and was heading towards the batting end, but substitute fielder Gary Pratt hit the stumps, catching Ponting short of the crease.

It wasn't the end of the story. While returning to the pavilion, Ponting gave a mouthful to the England contingent as well as their support staff, and muttered under his breath until he reached the Aussie camp.

The reason for his anger was the use of a substitute fielder in such an important game without adequate reasons. That was an issue raised by Ponting before the start of the series itself.

#9 Adam Zampa vs Melbourne Renegades

The ball hit Adam Zampa’s nose and deflected onto the stumps

In a Big Bash League match between the Melbourne Stars and the Melbourne Renegades, Adam Zampa inflicted a run-out which he wouldn't want to relive.

Dwayne Bravo hit Zampa's full-toss straight at non-striker Peter Nevill's bat, which ricocheted off the bowler's nose to hit the stumps. Thankfully, Zampa escaped any major injury but Nevill had to make his way back to the pavilion.

#10 Inzamam-ul-Haq vs England, 2005 (2nd Test, Faislabad)

Inzy was always known for his terrible running between the wickets

Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq's batting prowess is well-known, but he is equally well-known for his terrible running between the wickets.

One of his dismissals, in the second Test against England in Faisalabad, reflected this quite vividly. Inzamam brought about his own downfall by failing to return to the crease after playing a defensive stroke to Steven Harmison.

Harmison's direct throw at the stumps was signalled out by the umpires, sending Inzamam, who was batting on over 100, back to the dressing room.