10000 lbws in Test cricket December 28, 2016

Five memorable leg-before-wicket decisions

ESPNcricinfo staff
To mark the 10,000th lbw in Tests, a look back at such dismissals down the years that were controversial, historic and just plain funny

Glenn McGrath has Sachin Tendulkar lbw for a duck in Adelaide Hamish Blair / © ALLSPORT

The shoulder before wicket
Steve Waugh has set the field for a bouncer. There are men at short leg and leg gully as Glenn McGrath runs in at Adelaide Oval in December 1999. Sachin Tendulkar sees the ball land in the middle of the pitch and ducks side-on, getting really low in front of the stumps and turning his head away from the line of the delivery, as he tries to get under it. The ball does not rise high enough, though, and thuds into Tendulkar's left arm, just below the armpit. McGrath whips around to appeal for lbw and umpire Daryll Harper raises the finger, forever dividing the cricket world on whether that ball would have hit the top of the stumps or not.

The front page of the Age the day after the tie in Chennai © The Age

The decision that tied a Test
Two balls remain in the Chennai Test of September 1986. The scores are level and India have a wicket in hand. Maninder Singh, the No. 11, pushes forward and slightly across at a delivery from offspinner Greg Matthews. A massive appeal follows and umpire V Vikramraju gives Maninder lbw to end a match in a tie for only the second time in Test cricket. Whether Maninder got an inside edge or not is hotly debated, but Vikramraju did not officiate in another international match.

Jim Laker walks off after taking 19 wickets in the Old Trafford Test against Australia in 1956 © PA Photos

An lbw to make it ten out of ten
Jim Laker took nine Australian wickets in the first innings at Old Trafford in July 1956; Tony Lock took the other, the third wicket to fall. In the second innings, however, Laker had nine out of nine and was on the cusp of making history. "England's only thought was victory," Wisden reported, saying there was no design to give Laker the record. "Lock repeatedly beat the bat, but it was not his match." At 5.27 pm, umpire Frank Lee upheld an appeal for lbw against Len Maddocks and Laker became the first bowler to take all ten in an innings.

Steven Smith reacts after being given lbw despite being a long way down the pitch © Cricket Australia/Getty Images

A DRS lbw
Steven Smith was 2.8 metres down the pitch when the delivery from debutant left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj hit his pad at the WACA in November 2016. Though the impact was in front of off and middle stump, Smith was so far down that most people thought he was safe when South Africa asked the question. Such appeals were just not usually upheld. Umpire Aleem Dar, however, gave the lbw, prompting Smith to use the DRS to refer the decision to the television umpire. Replays indicated that the ball would have clipped leg stump, which was enough for Dar's decision to remain unchanged. Though it did not look immediately out to the human eye, such lbws are increasingly possible with the use of technology.

Graham Thorpe lost sight of the yorker from Courtney Walsh Paul McGregor / © Getty Images

The slow yorker
Graham Thorpe was making a return to England's Test XI at Old Trafford in August 2000. He walked in at 17 for 2, and was facing Courtney Walsh. The first delivery seemed like a slow full toss but it dipped late and he lost sight of it. As Thorpe moved across his crease, he turned his head away from the approaching delivery as if to duck, and then just froze. The ball landed flush on his back boot in front of middle stump as he offered no shot. It was definitely one of the least controversial - but among the most unconventional - lbws in cricket.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Cricinfouser on January 1, 2017, 6:51 GMT

    DRS in its current form wastes too much time. For LBWs I think ball tracking should come first then if that is deemed out then check the other things like hotspot, snicko and no ball - would halve the time we spend on these things..

  • David on December 31, 2016, 23:35 GMT

    What about Ponting's LBW on debut at the WACA? Probably the worst decision ever made.

  • umpire0391418 on December 31, 2016, 14:37 GMT

    LBW means Leg Before Wicket. No one can give correct decisions. Even DRS has flaws.

  • Arvind on December 30, 2016, 16:58 GMT

    @HALEOS By your logic, a batsman should not score *leg* byes when he attempts a shot, but the ball goes off his arm, or when he tries to sway out of the way, but the ball hits his helmet, correct? Oh wait, you most certainly don't know the law on leg byes either, do you?

  • Manesh on December 30, 2016, 6:31 GMT

    @pauln2 . 'one that wasn't given and which turned the outcome of the match' - just check BD tour of Pakistan. BD was 1 wicket away from win and 4/5 notorious decisions against BD.

  • locowa3814497 on December 30, 2016, 5:59 GMT

    The difference between sachin and S smith is that sachin did not show any dissent but smith was arguing with the umpire.

  • Ron on December 30, 2016, 5:58 GMT

    @WWW.MAJID-SIDDIQUI-CRICKET, yes BCCI has no tolerance for poor umpires unlike some others that actively encouraged it. @RAVICHAKRA, confusing two very different bowlers. Are you comparing the bounce that the tall McGrath could get with the skiddy Shami? Umpiring decisions are not supposed to be 'bold', they are supposed to be right bordering on conservative. @PIE CHUCKER, maybe because it came in a series where the Aus were already steamrolling Ind but still relied on the umpires to get SRT out many times.

  • Manesh on December 30, 2016, 4:32 GMT

    Most people judging Sachin's LBW based on the picture here. But check the video first, when the ball hit Sachi's hand it was in line with stump height. It went further down in the process and that the picture shown. So, when you check the video its clear that it will miss the stump easily. But that incident make the ICC to field independent umpires. Also, I like the way Tendulkar reacted without any argument with umpires or Australian players. Guess an Australian player at the reviving end and what will be his reaction. Or just check how Ponting, Smith reacted to such situations! That's why Sachin considered as the best gentleman ever played cricket and world wide fans than any other cricketer.

  • Paul on December 30, 2016, 2:56 GMT

    And one that wasn't given ... to Danny Morrison at Melbourne in 1987 against Craig McDermott, which should have won a test. It was hitting middle halfway up, and was the sort of decision that prompted calls for DRS.

  • Riff on December 30, 2016, 1:18 GMT

    I miss the LBW decision before DRS. The only reason it doesn't work now is because TV. The Law worked then, it should work now and Umpires shouldn't be emasculated.

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