New Zealand batter Henry Nicholls had battled really hard to score 19 runs on Day 1 of the third Test against England at Headingley in Leeds on Thursday (June 23). Nicholls was unlucky to dismissed in a bizarre manner, caught off a ricochet off his own teammate Darryl Mitchell’s bat off the bowling of Jack Leach.
Nicholls was on 19 from 98 deliveries when Jack Leach came up to bowl the final over before Tea on the opening day. The middle-order batter would have been expecting four runs when he middled a drive off Leach but it wasn’t the case. Nicholls’ booming drive came straight out of the sweet spot and Daryl Mitchell at the non-striker’s didn’t have quite enough time to react and get out of the way. The drive zeroed in on the middle of Mitchell’s flailing bat as he attempted to pull it out of the way, and deflected away towards mid-off.
Watch the video of Henry Nicholls’ dismissal here…
What on earth!?
The ricochet very nearly caught the umpire, who was forced to dive out of the way, and a stunned Alex Lees caught the ball in the air to send Nicholls back to the pavilion for 19 and leave New Zealand five down. “How has it got there?!” exclaimed Nasser Hussain on commentary.
Nicholls, who had shown great resilience in his 99-ball innings, walked off scratching his head while Leach, who has suffered a torrid series, looked equally bemused.
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.
(with Reuters inputs)