How to (and NOT TO) run between the wickets

Gandhi Jafta of the Thistles was on the losing end against Coronation in their Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) Women’s Super League match at Newlands in December, but not before she offered two conflicting examples of running between the wickets.

Jafta came to the wicket with her side struggling and way behind the run rate. Pushing to stay in touch, she displayed two very different methods of running between the wickets… the first left her wicket dangerously exposed, while the second was a superb example of committed running. It also offered an example of a brilliant piece on boundary fielding by Coronations’ Jane Winster.


How NOT to run between the wickets

The first piece of running saw Jafta leap in the air in fear of being hit by a good throw-in by the Coronations fielder in an attempt to get off the mark. This is an instinct thing naturally, but as a batter you have to be anticipating that the throw at the stumps will often be heading your way. You have to find a way to dodge, duck, dip, dive or dodge out of the way of the ball – jumping in the air is a big no-no because if you are in the air when the ball strikes stumps then you’re out, sister.

Definitely you must ground your bat and turn your head away from the ball and brace for impact. Not fun, but if you want that quick single you have to be ready to take the knocks.

As it turns out, Jafta got lucky because she should have been given out, but the umpire was unsighted by Jafta as she leaped in the air.

How you SHOULD run between the wickets…

A short while later, Jafta gave a brilliant display of how to run three down to the boundary.

Her batting partner played a late cut down to the third person boundary and Jafta put her head down and pushed all the way, knowing she would be running to the danger end. She didn’t dilly dally… she just pushed herself and, because of that effort, she just made it home in time.

She ran quick and with purpose for the first two runs, therefore putting herself in the ideal position to decide to make a late charge for the third run (every run counts in a run chase)… and this time she ran her bat along the ground and into the crease superbly, and dodge and ducked the shy at the stumps from the keeper (unlike earlier in her innings when she had jumped in the air to avoid being struck by the throw into the stumps. Superb running by Jafta.

Coronation all-rounder Jane Winster made a superb diving save and flick back to her team-mate to stop the boundary and give her side a chance of a run out. As it was, her efforts so nearly paid off.

Great cricket all around.

How to chuck the stumps down

The first run out attempt was a really good throw by the fielder – bouncing the ball short of the stumps can help you to direct your throw better.

If you throw direct at the stumps you are aiming at something further away, compared to if you aim at a spot on the ground 3-6 feet short of the stumps.

This will improve your level of accuracy – give it a try in training.

Footage: Cricket South Africa & Pitchvision

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