The game of cricket requires its players to be alert all the time as an opportunity to get rid of an opposition batter can come their way anytime. Wicketkeepers, in particular, need to be attentive all the time as they are at the center of things happening on a cricket field. A good presence of mind also helps their cause and Sri Lanka’s Niroshan Dickwella exhibited the same during the 1st Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Dickwella outsmarted Pakistani batter Imam-ul-Haq and made him pay for his absence of mind in the second innings of the 1st Test between the two teams. The Sri Lankan wicketkeeper stumped Imam-ul-Haq when the batter was casually moving around the popping crease while batting in Pakistan’s second innings. While a stumping out is not a very strange way of getting dismissed, the way Imam lost his wicket was certainly strange.
It was all sorted for the batter till the last minute when Dickwella dislodged the bails right at the moment Imam had his feet inches above the ground. The Pakistani batter casually played a flighted delivery from Ramesh Mendis but was deceived by the turn and bounce as he missed putting the bat to it. The ball then went into Dickwella’s hand who was closely watching Imam’s foot movement.
The batter, on the other hand, had assumed that his job was done there as he casually tried to get back to his batting guard. In the process, he lifted his left foot off the ground. Right then, Dickwella who had his eyes set on Imam’s foot dislodged the bails and made a soft appeal to the square leg umpire.
The appeal was sent upstairs for the third umpire to make a decision. Rod Tucker watched the video from multiple angles but found it really tough to get conclusive evidence considering there was a shadow too. However, he finally got what he was looking for when he watched it from the square leg angle and was convinced that Imam’s foot was in the air when the bails were dislodged.