Cricket

England vs New Zealand – “Never seen anything like it”: Jack Leach over “Incredible” Henry Nicholls dismissed in 3rd Test | Cricket News


England’s Jack Leach left over a “silly match” after winning Henry Nicholls’ wicket in a strange way on the opening day of the third Test against New Zealand at Headingley. The left-back’s career has been marred by illness, injury, conflict of choice and even a concussion suffered as he rushed the ball to the boundary in the first Test of this three-match campaign at Lord’s.

So he was probably due for a moment of happiness and it arrived a day after his 31st birthday.

Nicholls once drove tea hard to Leach just for the ball to shake off non-goal scorer Daryl Mitchell’s bat and walk lightly to Alex Lees in midfield.

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

“I did not even know if it was allowed, but I will take any wicket I can get. You get enough that does not go your way. It was very unfortunate for Nicholls, but very happy for me.”

If it was a bonus wicket, there was no denying the skill with which Leach hit with his first ball of the day to have Will Young lbw with a delivery that turned and made straight.

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

“I like it because it says two wickets on the board, but I do not like the dismissal.”

‘Positive’ Mitchell

New Zealand batting coach Luke Ronchi accepted Leach’s luck in sportsmanship, but suggested that Nicholls might have felt differently about an extraordinary end to a 19-off stroke of 99 balls.

“I like that kind of thing that happens, you can always say you were there at the time and if you take those factors out of the game, it can make things quite boring,” Ronchi said. “Unfortunately for Henry, it’s his passing. We gave him some space after that.”

England, who were already 2-0 up against New Zealand and were looking for a series of clean sweeps, took three wickets before lunch after losing the toss in seemingly ideal batting conditions, with Stuart Broad hitting twice in the absence of injured spearhead and longtime new ball partner James Anderson.

But the Black Caps, a year after the day since defeating India in the first World Cup final in Southampton, recovered to 225 for five at stumps thanks to an uninterrupted 102-point lead between in-form Mitchell and Tom Blundell.

Their third-century stand of the series followed alliances worth 195 at Lord’s and 236 at Trent Bridge.

Mitchell will now watch his third century of the campaign when he resumes on his overnight 78 not out.

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“I think mentally he was just very positive in what he was trying to do,” said Ronchi of Mitchell. “He knows his style of play and game plan, he sticks to it and he trusts it.”

(This story was not edited by techlives staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated stream.)

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