The Cricket World Cup in England and Wales witnessed possibly its first curious case of brush with the rules during the West Indies batting against Bangladesh in Taunton on Monday. The incident happened in the first innings with Windies batting and going on to score 321 runs. It featured Oshane Thomas on strike and Mustafizur Rahman with the ball in the late stages of the inning.
In the 49th over of West Indies batting, Thomas readied to face Mustafizur and looked to go down the ground. But he missed the ball completely and absurdly, the bails came off moments later. Replays pointed out that Thomas had brought the bails down with his bat. Bangladesh appealed for hit wicket, umpires gave a soft signal for not out and sent it to the third umpire. The umpire rightly adjudged it to be not out per MCC's Law 35.
The law stipulates, "The striker is out Hit wicket if, after the bowler has entered the delivery stride and while the ball is in play, his/her wicket is put down by either the striker’s bat or person."
Accordingly, Thomas took the bails down not while preparing to face the delivery, not during or immediately after completion of the swing.
— Jasdeep Mangat (@Jas01Mangat) June 17, 2019
Additionally, MCC's Rule 35.2, pertaining to not out on hit wickets, says, "The striker is not out under this Law should his/her wicket be put down in any of the ways referred to in 35.1. If it occurs after the striker has completed any action in receiving the delivery."
The unusual circumstance of an appeal for hit wicket after the delivery has been well completed also occured in 1998. With South Africa taking on Australia in Adelaide, Mark Waugh clipped the bails but was given not out by the third umpire due to the same rule.
The incident saw Waugh walking away from the wickets well after the delivery was bowled, knocking the bails over while doing so. The South Africa side captained by Hansie Cronje and experienced members Pat Symcox and Shaun Pollock looked agitated with the decision. They felt the Proteas were robbed of a wicket and a win after Waugh went on to score an unbeaten 115. It ensured Australia saved the Test and went on to win the series 1-0.