This will go down in the history of cricket as one of the strangest dismissals. It happened on Day 1 of the third and final Test between England and New Zealand at Headingley, Leeds. And the victim, Henry Nicholls. (Scores | Cricket News)
Having recovered from a bout of COVID-19, Kane Williamson returned to lead an embattled New Zealand side. And he won the toss and duly opted to bat first, only to witness a procession of Kiwi wickets including a bizarre dismissal.
In the final over before tea, Henry Nicholls tried to drive Jack Leach down the ground. But the ball instead hit Daryl Mitchell's bat at the non-striker's end even as he made an evasive action to avoid the ball. The ball then ballooned to Alex Lees at mid-off.
Henry Nicholls made a patient 19 off 99 balls.
The mode of dismissal befuddled fans and pundits alike. Marylebone Cricket Club, the guardian for the game, then joined the chorus and explained:
"An unfortunate dismissal? Yes. But wholly within the Laws," the venerable MCC wrote in a tweet. "Law 126.96.36.199 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."
An unfortunate dismissal? Yes. But wholly within the Laws.— Marylebone Cricket Club (@MCCOfficial) June 23, 2022
Law 188.8.131.52 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.
Read the Law: https://t.co/cCBoJd6xOSpic.twitter.com/eKiAWrbZiI
One of the reactions read: "Bizarre! Mitchell middles it to mid-off and Nicholls is out!"
England are eyeing a 3-0 series clean sweep against the inaugural ICC World Test Championship winners.