There are unlucky dismissals. There are weird ones. And then there was one of Henry Nicholls on Thursday, in the first innings of the third Test versus England, at Headingley, Leeds, which has left everyone stunned, shocked, gasping for breath.
Because the dismissal for so unusual and so unlucky and so rare and out-of-nowhere that even the bowler, Jack Leach, had no idea that he had dismissed the batsman until his teammates mobbed him in celebration.
Electing to bat first, the Kiwis found themselves in trouble at 83/4 before Nicholls and the in-form Daryl Mitchell stitched a 40-run stand off 125 balls and both were looking good as the sun shone brighter and the pitch was easing down. Until Nicholls’ unfortunate dismissal.
Henry Nicholls gets out in an extremely unlucky fashion
The left-hander skipped down the track to a full-length delivery from Leach and smashed it down the ground. It travelled so fast that non-striker Mitchell didn’t have enough time to move his body and his bat away from the line of the flying red ball.
The ball hit the middle of Mitchell’s bat, the non-striker still in the process of evading the ball, but the ball took a healthy deflection from Mitchell’s bat and lobbed over the ducking umpire, Richard Kettleborough, and flew straight to Alex Lees at mid-off.
Leach had no idea how the ball had landed in Lees’ hands; Ollie Pope had his mouth open as he was too stupefied to know how to react, just like everyone at the ground or on social media. Ben Stokes laughingly tried to bring Leach to the reality that they have eventually got their breakthrough.
Social media erupted with some interesting reactions to Henry Nicholls’ bizzare dismissal:
What on earth!? 😅🙈
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) June 23, 2022
Come on Mitchell accept it.
— Sridhar_FlashCric (@SridharBhamidi) June 23, 2022
— Micky (@MickyMick17) June 23, 2022
— Danny Kelly (@dannykellywords) June 23, 2022
Really unlucky way for Nicholls to go!
Probably it is the comparable to getting run out on the non-strikers end off a straight hit or even worse than that?
— Armchair Cricket Podcast (@ArmchairCricPod) June 23, 2022
Ever seen that before?!
Leach has Nicholls after a straight drive ricochets off Mitchell at the non-striker's end to Lees at mid-off.#ENGvNZ
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) June 23, 2022
Daryl Mitchell has scored lots of runs, but now dropped two catches, ran two teammates out and middled a Nicholls' four straight to mid-off. One of the strangest dismissals I've ever seen #ENGvNZ
— Tyrone Marshall (@TyMarshall_MEN) June 23, 2022
Daryl Mitchell in such great form, he is middling the ball from the non-striker's end as well. Poor, Henry Nicholls. #ENGvNZ
— Shubh Aggarwal (@shubh_chintak) June 23, 2022