Henry Nicholls fired in bizarre fashion


One of the most bizarre dismissals in cricketing history was followed by an all-too-familiar counterattack from Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell as New Zealand went over 5-225 on the first day of the Third Test against England. ‘England.

Henry Nicholls couldn’t believe his misfortune when his straight drive careered into the strained bat of Mitchell, who was trying to evade action at the non-attacking end, and bounced back until halfway through where Alex Lees was quite alert. to catch the fish.

There were bewildered looks on the faces of the England players – notably Jack Leach, who took his second wicket of the day – as Nicholls walked away for 19 and New Zealand stuttered 5-123 at tea at Headingley .

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That, however, brought together Blundell and Mitchell, who have previously shared partnerships of 195 and 236 in this three-game series in which England hold an unassailable 2-0 lead.

They put up an unbroken sixth wicket of 102 to be there at the stumps, giving the tourists fresh hope of a consolation win. Blundell was on 45 while Mitchell was on 78 and nearing his third century on the streak.

Mitchell capitalized on being given a life – when he was on 8 – by England captain Ben Stokes, who opted not to review when the New Zealand batter was trapped shin-high in front of the strains of a full Matthew Potts delivery that rocked.

Had Stokes given the signal, Mitchell would have been on his way and the Tourists would have been 5-97 and without their best player over the past month.

Stuart Broad set the tone for an impressive bowling performance from England, finishing the day with numbers 2-45 from his 17 overs as the point guard relished the responsibility of being the senior man in attack for England in the absence of fellow veteran Jimmy Anderson.

After New Zealand won the coin toss, Broad ducked Tom Latham for the sixth ball of the day and earned another advantage to put Kane Williamson out for 31 before lunch.

Between those wickets, the first ball from Leach’s left arm spin drifted and straightened, trapping Will Young lbw for 20.

New Zealand had a lot of work to do at 3-65 at lunch, but Devon Conway (26) had only started when he dragged a seam delivery from debutant Jamie Overton over his stumps with a loose drive. Overton was cheered on from the balcony by his twin brother Craig, who was dropped from the starting squad but came on briefly as a backup outfielder early in the day to make sure the siblings were there in same time for one or two.

“We used to talk about it when we were kids – playing test match cricket is the ultimate goal,” Jamie Overton said. “He was thrilled for me.”

Potts was looking to make his way into the story but was unlucky to see a pair of lbw screams walk away. The first, against Nicholls on 4, was disallowed after review as the remote possibility of an inside edge could not be ruled out.

Then came the costly second, against Mitchell, which Stokes refused to watch.

Mitchell made England pay by playing with the same energy he has shown since arriving in England, sweeping and shooting well before the second of Leach’s two spiraling sixes took him past 50.

Meanwhile, Stokes has mysteriously stayed out of attack, perhaps to save energy with the series won and with a one-off test against India coming up next week.

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