New Zealand batter Henry Nicholls was dismissed in bizarre fashion during the third Test against England at Headingley when the ball was caught after deflecting off his own teammate’s bat.
Leach floated one up and Nicholls advanced to the middle with a drive that hit the bat of his partner Mitchell and ricocheted to the alert Alex Lees at mid-off. Nicholls, who had shown great resilience in his 99-ball innings, walked off scratching his head while Leach, who had suffered a torrid series, looked equally bemused.
One of the most unfortunate dismissal for Henry Nicholls. pic.twitter.com/8fD9J7esHP
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) June 23, 2022
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, back after missing the second Test because of COVID-19, won the toss and elected to bat first on a flattish pitch, but England seized the initiative. Broad removed opener, Tom Latham, with the final ball of the first over, extracting enough movement off the pitch to have Latham edge to Joe Root at second slip.
New Zealand, who trail 2-0 after defeats in entertaining tussles at Lord’s and Trent Bridge, recovered from that early setback but Will Young, having reached 20, fell to Leach’s first ball of the day in the 13th over of the day.
Leach got one to straighten slightly and the ball trapped Young lbw in front of his stumps — the batsman’s review proving futile. Williamson and Conway looked fluent, however, as New Zealand attempted to take the contest to England.
Both went after Leach with Williamson striking two boundaries off the spinner in the 19th over, while Conway smashed another over the bowler’s head.
Broad made sure the opening session belonged to England though when he returned to dismiss Williamson for 31, again finding just enough movement off the pitch to find the edge with keeper Ben Foakes taking the easiest of catches.
It could have got even better for England as the immaculate Broad found the inside edge of Conway’s bat, but Foakes could not pitch what would have been a superb catch.