Bizarre non run-out: Chamika Karunaratne saved by 'flat battery' in Auckland
Sri Lankan cricketer Chamika Karunaratne survived the most bizarre run-out in the first ODI of the three-match series against New Zealand in Auckland on Saturday (March 25). The right-hander batter was declared not out despite clearing falling short of the crease because of 'flat battery' on the LED bails sitting on top of the stumps.
The incident shocked one and all watching the fixture inside the stadium and outside the Eden Park. It saw Karunaratne clearly being found short of his ground by Kiwi seamer Blair Tickner but still given not out by the third umpire.
Once the decision came out, it left the fielding side rattled, especially as Karunaratne had given up on his fate and started walking off the ground himself. They were expecting the dismissal to be upheld. But what followed were dramatic scenes as a sheepish-looking Chamika Karunaratne came back to resume his stay in the middle.
Those watching the game were equally baffled by what had taken place and the justification later explained by the match officials for their call was even more bewildering. It emerged that Karunaratne got declared 'not out' because the zing bails were delayed in lightening up due to a flat battery.
Kiwis left shocked as Chamika Karunaratne survives bizarre run out
The incident happened during the 18th over of the match with Sri Lanka horribly placed at 57/8 chasing an ultimately too-big 275. Clipping Tickner to the leg side, Chamika Karunaratne asked his batting partner Lahiru Kumara to comeback for a two.
But Kumara realised after reaching the other end that the second run wasn't on and asked Karunaratne to wait. The non-striker did still take a few steps outside the mark but then recognised the impossibility of the second and tried resurrecting his ground.
By when, however, Tickner had collected the throw from mid-wicket and dislodged the bails, leading to a run-out appeal and mini celebrations within the Kiwi camp as they could smell another dismissal. The initial replay of the decision would've vindicated their thoughts as Karunaratne looked inches short of his ground.
But they couldn't believe their misfortune when the third umpire gave it 'not out' citing that the zing bails hadn't lightened up at the point which Tickner took the ball and crashed it onto the stumps. Karunaratne, who had walked off accepting his fate, couldn't believe his good fortune and came back to resume his innings while the dismayed Black Caps asked the umpires to clear up their confusion.
"Amazing what a flat battery will cost you," former New Zealand cricketer Craig McMillan summed up the strange decision from the commentary box. "There was separation between bail and stump there. He was walking off, he knew he was out."
"I don’t understand that decision … the bails malfunctioned. That is out, any which way you look at it. Lights on, lights off – that is out. That is the wrong decision."