England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler pulled off a sensational nutmeg run out to dismiss Steve Smith during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 semifinal against Australia at Edgbaston on Thursday. Smith scored a fighting 85 and was looking all set to take Australia to a competitive total before Buttler came up with a moment of magic on the field to end his stay at the crease. Smith was always going to be in trouble with the direct hit after being slow to get off the blocks and Buttler’s throw went between his legs to catch him completely off-guard before going on to hit the stumps at the non-striker’s end.
It all happened on the first delivery of the 48th over when Smith tried to pull a short one from Chris Woakes towards fine leg but was deceived by the lack of pace on the delivery. Smith was initially hesitant to take the single but eventually decided to risk a run as his partner Mitchell Starc came steaming in towards the striker’s end, which was supposed to be the danger end. The ball rolled towards Buttler who collected it in a flash before showing great presence of mind by taking off his gloves and having a shy at the non-striker’s end where Smith was struggling to make his ground.
He not only managed to hit the stumps but managed to get the ball to sneak through Smith’s legs, thus nutmegging him. Smith could hardly believe his luck as he made the long walk back to the pavilion after scoring 85 from 119 deliveries with the help of six fours. Buttler’s moment of magic triggered a mini-collapse after Smith and Starc had brought up a crucial 50 run partnership for the eighth wicket as Australia lost their last three wickets for just six runs. The hosts managed to bundle out the defending champions for just 223 with one over to go to take a step closer towards making it to the all important final.
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