HENRY NICHOLLS was dismissed with one of the most bizarre and insane wickets in cricket history against England.
The New Zealand batter comes out of the crease to propel Jack Leach’s spinner towards the long-on limit just before the tee on Day 1 of the third Test.
But in a simply incredible turn of events, he cannons the ball straight to teammate Daryl Mitchell’s stick on the non-forward end.
From there, the ball flies past the quick-thinking referee and lands perfectly in the grateful hands of Alex Lees, who makes an easy catch down the middle.
And according to the wording of the law, specifically Law 22.214.171.124, that’s out.
The Rules of Cricket state that a catch is fair when: “A fielder catches the ball after touching the wicket, an umpire, another fielder, a runner or the other batsman.”
The England players and Headingley crowd couldn’t understand what had happened at first – and even when it became obvious they were still amazed.
Sky Sports pundit Michael Atherton said: “I’ve never seen anything like it.
“Henry Nicholls fought away, looked a bit upset, 19 runs in almost 100 balls.
“And then he finally gets one from the middle of the bat.
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“Daryl Mitchell on the end of the non-striker trying to protect and get his racquet out of the way hits Alex Lees.
“He couldn’t have done better if he tried. It’s like one-handed catch.
“This is an incredible moment.”
Leach later said, “It was incredible. I didn’t even know if that’s allowed, I’ve never seen anything like it. But I’ll take every wicket I can – you get enough that doesn’t go your way.
“It’s a stupid game, isn’t it?
“It was very unfortunate for Nicholls but very fortunate for me. The ball came right off the center of Mitchell’s racquet and Leesy wants me to mention that he caught a good one!
“I like the fact that I have two wickets on the board but to be honest I didn’t like the dismissal. It’s not something I’ll watch many times.”
And unsurprisingly, the wicket got everyone on social media talking – just weeks after Mitchell and Leach’s first freak incident on the series, which saw the ball splash into a glass of cider.
One joker wrote: “WICKET: LEACH 🏴wandern fallen 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂”
Another said: “The Black Caps have had some trouble with black cats when it comes to distraction happiness…. Stokes in WC19 was amazing but this [is] almost worse.”
New Zealand were 123-5 at the tea but an impressive, stubborn late save from Daryl Mitchell – coming 78 not from 159 balls – and Tom Blundell (45 of 108) meant they ended the day 225-5.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5625653/england-freak-wicket-new-zealand-leach/ ‘I’ve never seen anything like it’ – Watch England freak wicket win against New Zealand, leaving bowler Leach stunned