Temba Bavuma’s run-out of David Warner on Day 4 of the first test match between South Africa and Australia may just be the greatest ever.
The pint-sized Bavuma was fielding at point, when Warner, nudged Kagiso Rabada off the back foot and set off for a single. Bavuma moved in, and picked up the ball cleanly with his right hand, and threw all in one movement, hitting the bowler’s ends stumps. Upon release, Bavuma’s feet were above his head, with a reaction time of just 0.264 seconds.
Such was the brilliance of the fielding, neither Bavuma, Warner nor the commentators seemed convinced it was out. Umpire Aleem Dar decided to go upstairs for the television replay, which not only confirmed Warner was short of his crease, but also revealed the sheer brilliance that had just taken place.
Former Australian cricketers, and now commentators, Shane Warne and Michael Slater, were in disbelief over the run-out, labeling it as “sensational fielding” and struggled to think of any better they’ve seen.
The significance of the run-out is another reason as to why it was so good. Chasing an unlikely 539 runs to win, Australia needed David Warner to fire if they were to have any chance of winning. The opening batsman was moving along nicely, with 35 runs, from 32 balls, at a strike-rate of 106.06, until a piece magic from Bavuma sent the Australian walking back to the pavilion.
While there are many worthy contenders for the greatest run-out ever, Bavuma’s is most certainly at least the greatest piece of athleticism we’ve seen in cricket. Being only 1.67cm tall, Bavuma’s low center of gravity certainly aids him in fielding in close to the bat. He doesn’t so much run, as he does glides, very reminiscent of another certain former South African player, Jonty Rhodes.
No doubt we will be seeing replays of Bavuma’s brilliance for years to come.
Watch: Bavuma’s run-out of Australian batsman David Warner
AB de Villiers runs out Simon Katich in the 2006 ODI Series against Australia
Jonty Rhode’s famous “superman” run-out of Inzamam ul Haq at the 1992 World Cup
M.S Dhoni with the no-look between the legs run-out versus Bangladesh
Mitchell Johnson using his soccer skills to run-out Peter Ingram