If getting run out is the worst feeling in cricket, imagine the agony of getting caught short on 99. Jeff Thomas presents 10 of the most heartbreaking 99ers of the lot. Look away now…
10) Jason Gallian 199
(Twice!) 2005 county season
Oscar Wilde once quipped: “To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.” It’s the kind of gallows humour that may have helped Notts’ Jason Gallian reconcile the calamity of being run out – incredibly – for 199 not once but twice in the same county season. A phlegmatic Gallian reflected: “I couldn’t believe it had happened again… I was laughing. It was just one of those situations, going for some quick runs to try to make the most of our total and win the game.”
9) Graham Gooch 99
Australia v England, Third Test MCG, 1980
England batting coach Graham Gooch is well known for his insistence that ‘daddy hundreds’ are what players should strive for – in fact Alastair Cook once remarked: “He doesn’t count it if it’s under 150.” But Goochie didn’t always adhere to that philosophy during his own playing career. Such was his eagerness to reach his maiden Test century, a full five years after his debut, Gooch absurdly ran himself out for 99 in the final over before tea on day one at the MCG. Do as I say, not as I did?
8) Younis Khan 199
Pakistan v India, First Test Lahore, 2006
The first Test between Pakistan (679-7) and India (410-1) at Lahore in 2006 could lay claim to being the dullest Test match of all-time. Of the 12 batsmen who had a knock in the match, half made centuries. The monotony, however, was briefly broken on day two when Younis Khan became the first batsman in Test history to be run out for 199. Driving to mid on the unfortunate Khan found his partner, a slumberous Shahid Afridi – with his back turned on the action and was undone by a direct hit as he tried to scamper back. In the context of the match, you can’t really blame Afridi for snoozing.
7) Don Bradman 299*
Australia v South Africa, Fourth Test Adelaide, 1932
As ‘The Don’ approached his second Test triple century he found himself with only debutant No. 11 Hugh ‘Pud’ Thurlow for company. With Bradman desperate to retain the strike, Thurlow was run out for a duck, leaving Bradman stranded on 299. While the senior man graciously accepted responsibility at the time (the not-out helped him average 201.50 in the series), conspiracy theorists may note that Thurlow never played another Test match…
6) MS Dhoni 99
India v England, Fourth Test Nagpur, 2012
Runs are something we’ve come to expect from Alastair Cook; one-handed swooping pick-ups and direct hits are not. But that was exactly how the England skipper dismissed his opposite number late on day three during last winter’s fourth Test in Nagpur. It was a pivotal moment, stopping India in their tracks and helped England secure an unlikely first innings lead and ultimately secure the series. The unfortunate Dhoni became the first Test captain ever to be run out for 99.
5) Virat Kohli 99
IPL v Delhi Daredevils, Delhi 2013
Contrary to what Chris Gayle may have led you to believe, scoring a century in a Twenty20 match is a rare and amazing achievement. In May this year, Virat Kohli agonisingly missed out on the milestone by a single run. Having bludgeoned 22 runs from the first five balls of the final over, Kohli required two runs from the last ball of the innings to bring up three figures. Having smashed the ball out to deep point he gave himself every chance, but a fine pick-up and throw from Aussie Ben Rohrer (no, us neither) saw him well short of his ground, thus becoming the first player in IPL history to be run out for 99.
4) Sanath Jayasuriya 99
Sri Lanka v England, VB Series ODI Adelaide, 2003
Nasser Hussain was involved in a fair few farcical run outs during his career but surely none were as comical as the run out of Sanath Jayasuriya at Adelaide in 2003. Chasing England’s 279-6, the Sri Lankan left-hander had advanced to 99 in just the 28th over when disaster struck. Having driven to Hussain at mid off for a comfortable single, Jayasuriya and partner Kumar Sangakkara gravely took the same route down the pitch, running wider and wider and wider still, magnetically pulled into a collision at short mid-wicket. Despite completing about 24 yards with the angle, the opener was still about three yards short when Nasser’s throw hit the stumps.
3) Hanif Mohammad 499
Karachi v Bahawalpur, Quaid-e-Azam trophy semi-final Karachi, 1959
On January 11, 1959, the original ‘Little Master’ Hanif Mohammad was run out just one shy of 500. Epic fail. Wanting to give his captain the option of declaring overnight, Mohammad fatally ran on a mis-field on the penultimate ball of the day and missed out on the chance of becoming the first man ever to rack up a quintuple century. “I thought I was gone for 497, but as I walked back the scoreboard showed 499! I would never have pushed so hard if I knew I was on 498 and not 496.” He quickly got over it, though. “499 is better than most scores.” In fact, it remains better than all scores in the history of first-class cricket, bar Lara’s 501* from 1994.
2) Steve Waugh 99*
Australia v England, Fifth Test, Perth, 1995
It’s said batsmen who spend long periods together can develop a telepathic understanding. Add into the mix the supposed extrasensory abilities of twins, then surely the Waugh brothers would be the perfect partners when it came to judging a quick single, right? Wrong. At Perth in 1995, Steve Waugh was left stranded on 99* when brother Mark (acting as a runner for last man Craig McDermott) inexplicably charged down the wicket despite Steve hitting the ball straight back to the bowler, and was run out at the non-striker’s end. No doubt a rather tense evening at the Waugh residence ensued that night…
1) Michael Atherton 99
England v Australia, Second Test, Lord’s, 1993
“Oh tragedy, tragedy!” Not the words of Barry Gibb or ‘H’ from Steps, but those of the Beeb’s Tony Lewis as Michael Atherton desperately crawled along the turf four yards short of his ground. While the famous slope has undone many a batsmen over the years, the imaginary banana skin has claimed significantly less victims, but here, as Merv Hughes’ throw arrived from deep mid wicket, young Athers, having been sent back by Mike Gatting, went a-sprawlin’. He missed out on a place on the honours board by a single run, and unlike Jacob Oram, Tamim Iqbal and Matt Horne, never made a Test hundred at Lord’s. Horrifying.