England vs New Zealand – ‘Never seen anything like it’: Jack Leach on ‘unbelievable’ Henry Nicholls dismissal in 3rd Test | Cricket News


England’s Jack Leach has pondered a ‘stupid play’ after capturing Henry Nicholls’ wicket in bizarre fashion on the opening day of the Third Test against New Zealand at Headingley. The left-arm spinner’s career has been blighted by illness, injury, inconsistent selection and even suffered a concussion as he chased the ball to the limit in the first Test of this three-game campaign at Lord’s .

So it was probably due to a moment of good fortune and it happened a day after his 31st birthday.

Nicholls, on a teaspoon, drove hard at Leach only for the ball to ricochet off non-striker Daryl Mitchell’s bat and loop gently to Alex Lees at halfway.

“It was amazing, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Leach told reporters after Thursday’s close.

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“I didn’t even know if it was allowed, but I’ll take any wicket I can get. You’ve had enough of it not going your way. It was very unlucky for Nicholls but very lucky for me. “

If it was a bonus wicket, there was no denying the skill with which Leach struck with his first pitch of the day to have Will Young lbw with a spinning and straightening delivery.

Leach, given the contrast between his wickets in an economic return of two for 75 in 30 overs, added: “It’s a silly game, isn’t it? That’s what it made me think , it’s a stupid game we’re playing.

“I like it because it says two wickets on the board but I don’t like the dismissal.”

“Positive” Mitchell

New Zealand batting coach Luke Ronchi sportingly accepted Leach’s chance but suggested Nicholls may have felt differently about an extraordinary end to a 19-for-99 graft inning.

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“I like that kind of stuff that happens, you can always tell you were there at the time and if you take those factors out of the game it could make things pretty boring,” Ronchi said. “Unfortunately for Henry, it’s his demise. We gave him some space afterwards.”

England, already 2-0 against New Zealand and looking to complete a complete series sweep, took three wickets before lunch after losing the coin toss in seemingly ideal striking conditions with Stuart Broad hitting two times in the absence of an injured spearhead and a longtime new ball. partner James Anderson.

But the Black Caps, a year to the day since beating India in the inaugural World Test Championship final at Southampton, have recovered 225-for-five at the stumps thanks to an unbroken 102 position between Mitchell fit and Tom Blundell.

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Their third century stand in the series followed wedding rings worth 195 at Lord’s and 236 at Trent Bridge.

Mitchell will now be aiming for his third hundred of the campaign when he resumes his uneliminated 78 night.


“I think mentally he’s just been really positive about what he’s trying to do,” Ronchi said of Mitchell. “He knows his style of play and his game plan, he sticks to it and he trusts it.”

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