New Zealand striker Henry Nicholls was out of power 19 in a bizarre way when the ball was caught after he deflected his teammate’s baton
Image: Philip Brown / Popperfoto / Popperfoto via Getty Images)
English spinner Jack Leach made a really bizarre pass in the third test against New Zealand in Headingley.
The dismissal will remain inscribed in the history books because Alex Lees caught Henry Nicholls in the middle of a break for 19, but that doesn’t even tell the whole story. In the last translation before the tea break, Nicholls tried to knock Lich to the ground.
Unfortunately, the ball went straight towards his teammate Daryl Mitchell from the side of the non-attacker and, while he was trying to avoid it, it hit his bat. The ball then went straight to Lees who caught the ball and Nicholls was thrown as the ball did not touch the ground.
Speaking about the comment for the BBC Test Match Special, former English spinner Vic Marks said: “It’s an extraordinary dismissal. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it in a test match.”
Former England captain Michael Atherton, meanwhile, called it “unbelievable”, telling Sky Sports: “I’ve never seen anything like it. And especially cruel to Nicholls, who looked a bit clumsy, fighting.”
“He finally pulled one out of the middle of the stick, and then Mitchell, desperately trying to get out of the way, couldn’t have put it better in Alex Lees’s hands had he tried! An amazing moment.”
The MCC, who are the custodians of the cricket law, also explained why this is legal, tweeting, “An unfortunate dismissal? Yes. But entirely within the law.
“Rule 188.8.131.52 says there will be an out if a player in the field catches the ball after touching a wicket, a referee, another player in the field, a runner or another striker.”
The wicket was Leach’s second in the match, and the 31-year-old also took the wicket with his first delivery, getting Will Young lbw for 20. It was Leach’s first ball on Headingley since his participation in the cult 2019 Ashes Test where he shared a winning match, the last wicket partnership with Ben Stokes.