England picked up one of the most remarkable wickets you’ll ever see in Test cricket on day one of the Third Test against New Zealand at Headingley on Thursday.
Black Caps middle-order batter Henry Nicholls would have been expecting four runs when he middled a drive off Jack Leach in the final over before Tea on the opening day.
But nobody could have predicted what happened next.
The attacking shot came out of the blue from Nicholls, who was on 19 from 98 deliveries as Leach came up to bowl.
And Nicholls’ booming drive came straight out of the sweet spot, with Daryl Mitchell at the non-striker’s end not having 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.
The ricochet very nearly caught the umpire, who was forced to dive out of the way, and a stunned Alex Lees snaffled the chance to send Nicholls back to the pavilion for 19 and leave New Zealand five down.
What on earth!? 😅🙈
🏴 #ENGvNZ 🇳🇿 pic.twitter.com/yb41LrnDr9
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) June 23, 2022
“How has it got there?!” exclaimed Nasser Hussain on commentary.
“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.”