New Zealand batter Henry Nicholls cops unluckiest dismissal against England on stroke of Tea
The scorecard reads H Nicholls caught Lees bowled Leach, but it will be a dismissal Henry Nicholls will remember for the rest of his life.
In the final over before tea on the first day of England’s third Test against New Zealand, Nicholls suffered the rarest of misfortunes as spinner Jack Leach became the beneficiary of one of cricket’s most freakish outs.
A full-on straight drive by Nicholls struck the outstretched bat of partner Daryl Mitchell, who was looking to take evasive action at the non-striker’s end, and deflected towards mid-off where Alex Lees took a simple catch.
The bonus wicket helped England close the day at 5-225.
As Nicholls trudged off in disbelief, it left the overdue Leach benefiting from a rare slice of good luck.
Leach’s international career has been disrupted by a number of unfortunate circumstances, including illness, injury and even a concussion sustained while chasing after a ball in the first game of the series.
Leach would probably have preferred to focus on his other success, trapping opener Will Young leg before with his first delivery of the day, but there was only one dismissal up for debate at the close.
“It was unbelievable, I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said.
“I didn’t even know if that was allowed, but I’ll take any wicket I can get. You get enough that don’t go your way. It was very unlucky for Nicholls but very lucky for me.
“It’s a silly game isn’t it? That’s what it made me think, it’s a stupid game we play.
“I like it because it says two wickets up on the board but I don’t like the dismissal. It’s not something I’m going to rewatch too many times.”
New Zealand batting coach Luke Ronchi took the setback on the chin, but suggested Nicholls may not have been feeling quite so magnanimous.
“I like those sort of things that happen, you can always say you were there at the time and if you take those factors out of the game it could make things pretty boring,” he said.
“Unfortunately for Henry, it’s his demise. We gave him a bit of space afterwards ... you want to let people go through their own thoughts.”
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