“Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear,” said Daniel Norcross on BBC commentary. “The throw’s come in at the non-striker’s end and there is dawdleage.” It’s hard to improve on that assessment.
What was so remarkable about this dismissal is that it felt like the textbook, “yadda yadda yadda… and there’s no run.”
Sri Lanka’s Hasini Perera pushed the ball into the off side and it was clear there was no run. Perera shouted loudly and clearly to Achini Kulasuriya at the non-striker’s end, who heard her and understood, at which point she turned round and calmly strolled back, having taken the usual couple of steps down the pitch, just in case there had been a run.
Meanwhile, the ball bobbled tamely towards Kate Cross, who ambled towards it, casually picked it up, glanced at the stumps at the non-striker’s end and then just absolutely frigging nailed the ball into them.
This next image is precisely one moment later. Behold the raw emotion! See England celebrate with wild abandon!
Replays for the benefit of the third umpire (and everyone else) revealed that Kulasuriya had been guilty of not even considering the possibility that she might be about to be run out.
What we love about this whole passage of play is how quickly yet visibly the scenario changed. Watching Cross’s movements in replays, you can see her transition from dutiful fulfilment of a routine obligation to fucking wanging the stumps down over the course of, what, a nanosecond?
It’s almost like you can see the idea forming in her head as her arm goes back to throw and then the decision is being made over the course of her arm’s movement. It isn’t really until her follow-through that she truly seems to have fully made her mind up about the course of action that she has in fact already taken.
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