When the batters and bowlers are putting on a show, the fielders too turn up to their best. That is exactly what England’s Ollie Pope showcased when he took a one-handed screamer on the last ball of the second session on Day 2 of the ongoing Test against New Zealand in Wellington.
England are in the driver’s seat in the second Test in Basin Reserve. In a contest that has been interrupted and shortened by rain, their batters piled up 435-8 declared before the bowlers plucked the Kiwi wickets one by one on Day 2. By early stumps on Day 2 due to rain, New Zealand are reeling at 138/7 and tril by 297 more runs.
Left-arm spinner Jack Leach has taken 3 wickets so far in the innings. For one of those – the dismissal of Daryl Mitchell – he’s got to give all the credit to Ollie Pope.
On the last delivery before the Tea interval, Leach dismissed Mitchell via a superb one-handed catch from Pope at silly point.
The spinner tossed the ball up and Mitchell duly planted his big front foot for a defensive shot. The ball dipped and pitched on length and bounced a bit extra, catching the top part of Mitchell’s bat and lobbed in front of him.
Fielding at silly point was Ollie Pope, who was almost sitting on his knees, waiting for such a chance. And now he as got this opportunity, the fielder didn’t make a mistake, as he dove with his right hand out and cleanly grabbed the ball out of thin air. The commentators raved about the anticipation Pope made in pushing his body toward the ball before taking the catch.
Wactch Ollie Pope’s incredible catch at silly point:
What on earth 🤯
This is 𝗨𝗡𝗕𝗘𝗟𝗜𝗘𝗩𝗔𝗕𝗟𝗘 from Ollie Pope 🔥
The perfect to finish the session! #NZvENG pic.twitter.com/hehHIe5UO0
— Cricket on BT Sport (@btsportcricket) February 25, 2023
Meanwhile, Harry Brook once again was in the limelight as he cracked another entertaining century, scoring 186 (176) and Joe Root scored 153 (224) in England’s total of 435. The 24-year-old Harry Brook has had a sensational start to his Test career: in 9 innings, he’s scored 809 runs at an average of 89 and strike rate of 98, notching up 4 centuries and 3 fifties.
Brook rated his latest century, which he hit after England were in trouble at 21/3, as the best of his four Test hundreds so far.
“I think so,” Brook said when asked if this was the top of his four centuries. “The position of the game makes that decision, to be honest. The ones in Pakistan were amazing and good fun, but they were all very flat pitches. Today wasn’t a flat pitch. It’s a good cricket wicket, but not a flat pitch where you can smack it everywhere.”