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Watch: ‘Genius’ James Neesham running tactic sacrifices batting partner to run single and retain strike

Neesham run out Blast
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Watch: Northamptonshire Steelbacks’ James Neesham was involved in a bizarre run-out against Leicestershire Foxes, tactically running out partner Lewis McManus to retain strike for the final over during their T20 Blast fixture on July 1.

Chasing 214, Northants were well served by a 125-run second-wicket stand between Chris Lynn and Josh Cobb, but a middle-order stutter meant that the side required 19 off the final six, with No.4 Neesham keeping the fight on. The first ball was duly dispatched for a six by Neesham – not unfamiliar with last-over finishes – bringing the equation down to 13 off five.

Off the second ball of Ben Mike’s over, Neesham dug out a yorker to short third-man, racing to the other end for a quick run. McManus crossed to the striker’s end, and looked content, but was in for a surprise when Neesham sprinted back full steam for a non-existent second run, gesturing with his hand to seemingly ask his partner to stay put. The sprint ensured that Neesham was safely able to reach the other end: wicketkeeper Lewis Hill, on seeing that the non-striker’s end was vacant, lobbed a throw towards the bowler. McManus eventually had to sacrifice his wicket, helping Neesham retain strike for the final four balls of the over.

The sacrifice didn’t pay dividends though, as Neesham himself was run out of the penultimate delivery, with Northants falling short by one run.

The New Zealand all-rounder later tweeted out law 20.1.2 from the MCC’s dead-ball law, which read: “The ball shall be considered to be dead when it is clear to the bowler’s end umpire that the fielding side and both batters at the wicket have ceased to regard it as in play.”

Watch the incident here:

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