Marnus Labuschagne (Image: Twitter/X)
Cricket is mostly about batting and bowling. Is that right?
Wrong. It’s as much about fielding. Pune’s MCA Stadium witnessed one such act during the World Cup match between Australia and Bangladesh.
At 214-3, Bangladesh’s Mohammad Mahmudullah and Towhid Hridoy were looking firm. They had stitched together a run-a-ball 44-run partnership. They seemed quite at home in the heat of Pune, much like they would in Bangladesh.
They were set and a total of 350 or thereabouts seemed on the cards. Hardly any wrong shot was played during this partnership. Australia’s bowlers were struggling to get that breakthrough. But that’s when it happened! It was a miraculous fielding effort which got Australia that much-needed wicket.
It was the fourth ball of the 36th over bowled by Josh Hazlewood. Hridoy got into a nice, defensive position and pushed the ball towards cover. The batters sprinted for a single. But they overlooked something. Marnus Labuschagne was anticipating all their moves.
He swiftly swooped in, deftly grasped the ball with one hand, executed a seamless underarm flick, and dove in a fluid motion, successfully hitting the stumps. The third umpire was referred to but Mahmudullah knew he was short of the crease and started walking towards the dugout.
This Labuschagne run-out turned out to be a speed-breaker for the Bangladesh innings. Wickets kept falling in regular intervals, as Bangladesh set a target of 307 for Australia, which they effortlessly overtook.
This under-arm direct hit reminded fans of the famous Superman run-out effected by Jonty Rhodes in the 1992 World Cup. Inzamam-ul-Haq was the victim and this effort took the cricket world by storm. Nobody had seen anything like it before that.
Australia’s fielding has been exceptional throughout the tournament. And this Labuschagne effort was a highlight of that enterprise. He did not care that he might have injured himself while doing it. Standout show from a member of an outstanding fielding team it was.
Cricket is mostly about batting and bowling. Is that right? Wrong. It’s as much about fielding. Pune’s MCA Stadium witnessed one such act during the World Cup match between Australia…
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