The spirit of cricket was on full display during Paarl Rocks’ Mzansi Super League clash against Nelson Mandela Bay Giants, with Paarl Rocks all-rounder Isuru Udana choosing not to run out an injured opponent at a pivotal moment.
The incident occurred in the 19th over of the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants chase. With 24 runs needed from the last eight balls, a Paarl Rocks victory looked likely, but a comeback wasn’t out of the question, especially with former South Africa batsman Heino Kuhn unbeaten on 56.
As if to demonstrate his good touch, Kuhn drove Sri Lanka international Udana firmly back down the ground, and straight into his batting partner, Marco Marais, who was backing up at the non-striker’s end.
This is class from Isuru Udana 👏pic.twitter.com/RZX5yutA23
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) December 8, 2019
The ball rebounded to Udana, and with the stricken Marais still out of his ground, he had the opportunity to run him out and bring his side closer to victory. Instead, he opted not to add insult to injury, keeping the ball in-hand rather than shying at the stumps, allowing the batsman, to regain his ground, holding his hurt arm as he did so.
When Marais hit a six from the third ball of the final over, Udana might have questioned if he had done the right thing, with two more lusty blows needed to bring the scores level. But Paarl Rocks held their nerve