England v New Zealand: Henry Nicholls dismissed in one of the most bizarre cirumstances ever

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Is this the strangest wicket EVER in cricket history? New Zealand batter Henry Nicholls is bizarrely dismissed after his drive off England spinner Jack Leach ricochets off non-striker Daryl Mitchell’s bat before looping into fielder Alex Lees’ hands

  • Henry Nicholls hit a drive off Jack Leach in the final over before the tea break
  • New Zealand batter’s shot hit the bat of team-mate Daryl Mitchell at other end
  • Ball then looped up and fell straight into the hands of England fielder Alex Lees 
  • Laws of cricket state that Nicholls’ dismissal was a legitimate way of getting out 

New Zealand’s Henry Nicholls suffered one of the most bizarre dismissals in cricket history after he was caught after his shot hit the non-striker’s bat.

Nicholls and Daryl Mitchell had put on a 40-run partnership when the former looked to drive England spinner Jack Leach down the ground in the final over before tea on the first day of the third Test at Headingley.

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But Nicholls’ on-drive forced team-mate Mitchell to take quick, evasive action in his attempts to get out of the way and ensure the ball went to the boundary.

New Zealand’s Henry Nicholls suffered one of the most bizarre dismissals in cricket history

The batter drive off a ball from England spinner Jack Leach looked destined for the boundary

The batter drive off a ball from England spinner Jack Leach looked destined for the boundary

As part of his attempts to avoid being struck by the ball, Mitchell tried to drag his bat closer to his body.

But in doing so, he only managed to make the ball connect with the middle of his bat, after which it looped straight into the hands of England opener Alex Lees at mid-off.

Leach and a number of his England team-mates appeared confused initially as to whether Nicholls had been dismissed, but reacted joyously once the tourists’ batter started walking.

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And while Nicholls can feel unlucky with the strange manner of his dismissal on 19, it was the correct decision and within the laws of the game. 

But Daryl Mitchell - in taking evasive action - managed to get the middle of his bat on the ball

But Daryl Mitchell – in taking evasive action – managed to get the middle of his bat on the ball

The ball then looped straight into the hands of Alex Lees (left), fielding for England at mid-on

The ball then looped straight into the hands of Alex Lees (left), fielding for England at mid-on

Law 33.2.2.3 states a batter can be dismissed if ‘a fielder catches the ball after it has touched the wicket, an umpire, another fielder, a runner or the other batter.’

It is not the first time a non-striker has played an accidental yet significant role in his team-mate’s dismissal in men’s international cricket.

In 2006, the late Andrew Symonds was caught at mid-wicket after the ball had made contact with Michael Clarke’s leg in an ODI against Sri Lanka.

Leach and a number of his England team-mates appeared confused initially as to if it counted

Leach and a number of his England team-mates appeared confused initially as to if it counted

But Nicholls’ dismissal did little to help New Zealand – trailing the three-match Test series against Ben Stokes’ England 2-0 – rebuild after another challenging day with the bat in Leeds.

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Tom Latham was caught in the slips off Stuart Broad for a duck from just the sixth ball of the Test, before Leach dismissed Will Young with his first ball.

Broad was then back in on the action to dismiss New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, before Devon Conway became England debutant Jamie Overton’s first Test wicket. 

But their confusion eventually turned to joy as Nicholls walked off just before the tea break

But their confusion eventually turned to joy as Nicholls walked off just before the tea break

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