New Zealand batter Henry Nicholls became a victim of poor fortune after getting out in arguably the most bizarre way on Day 1 of the ongoing third and final Test against England at Headingley in Leeds.
It all happened on the second ball of the 56th over of Black Caps’ first innings bowled by English spinner Jack Leach. The left-armer went for full delivery, and Nicholls came down the track to smash it wide of the bowler.
For a moment, it appeared the red leather would travel down the hill for a boundary, but nobody could have predicted what happened next. Nicholls’ drive came straight out of the sweet spot, with Daryl Mitchell at the non-striker’s end didn’t have enough time to react and get out of the way.
The ball hit the middle of Mitchell’s flailing bat as he attempted to pull it out of the way and lobbed over umpire Richard Kettleborough before going straight into Alex Lees’ hands at mid-off. The dismissal was so strange in nature that spinner Leach seemed to have no idea about it.
Nasser Hussain, who was on air at the time of dismissal, could not believe it either as he exclaimed: “How has it got there?!”.
“Mitchell’s at the non-striker’s end, he’s trying to get his bat out of the way, the umpire’s trying to get out of the way… and Mitchell’s middled it straight to mid-off. I cannot believe that; I really can’t,” added the former England captain.
Here is the video:
What on earth!? 😅🙈
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) June 23, 2022
The unreal form of dismissal even forced the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), known as the guardian of the Laws of the game, to clarify on social media that Nicholls’ wicket was completely within the laws of the game.
“An unfortunate dismissal? Yes. But wholly within the Laws. Law 220.127.116.11 states it will be out if a fielder catches the ball after it has touched the wicket, an umpire, another fielder, a runner or the other batter,” tweeted MCC.
An unfortunate dismissal? Yes. But wholly within the Laws.
Law 18.104.22.168 states it will be out if a fielder catches the ball after it has touched the wicket, an umpire, another fielder, a runner or the other batter.
— Marylebone Cricket Club (@MCCOfficial) June 23, 2022