Jack Leach was happy to benefit from a rare slice of good luck with the sending off of Henry Nicholls on day one of England’s final test against New Zealand.
Leach’s international career was cut short by a series of unfortunate circumstances, including illness, injury and even a concussion sustained while chasing a ball in the first game of the LV= Insurance Series.
He was late for a change of fortune and it happened in the final before tea at Headingley, when Nicholls punched him hard only for an unplanned mid-bat deflection of non-striker Daryl Mitchell.
The ball looped to Alex Lees midway through the match, giving England a bonus wicket on New Zealand’s stump scoring of 225 for five.
Leach probably would have preferred to focus on his other success, nailing Will Young lbw when his first delivery of the day straightened out well off the field, but there was only one dismissal up for debate at the end.
“It was unbelievable, I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said.
“I didn’t even know if it was allowed, but I’ll take any wicker I can get. You get enough that it doesn’t go your way. It was very bad luck for Nicholls, but very lucky for me.
“It’s a silly game, isn’t it? That’s what got me thinking, it’s a stupid game we play. I like it because it says two wickets on the board, but I don’t like the dismissal. It’s not something I’m going to watch very often.”
New Zealand batting coach Luke Ronchi suffered the setback to his chin, but suggested Nicholls might not be feeling so magnanimous.
“I like that kind of thing that happens, you can always say you were there in the moment and if you take those factors out of the game it can make things very boring,” he said.
“Unfortunately for Henry, it’s his death. We gave him some space afterwards… you want to let people have their own thoughts.”
The game was well balanced, with England winning three wickets in the morning session after being asked to pitch first in serene conditions, only for an unbroken 102 position between Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell to rebalance the balance.
It was the third major partnership in the series between the two, who have already totaled 236 at Trent Bridge and 195 at Lord’s, but it goes without saying that both ended up in lost causes.
England’s sailors made a solid move in demanding conditions, with Stuart Broad beating opener Tom Latham and captain Kane Williamson before lunch, rookie Jamie Overton convincing Devon Conway to throw his first international wicket and Matthew Potts twice seeing loud cheers. of lbw without reward.
“It was a great feeling (to take a test wicket), you want to get it out of the way early,” Overton told Sky Sports.
“It was nice to have it, but I would have liked a few more. We had a good day, however, after being stuck in the field and going at 2.5 (runs by over) all day.
“Leachy had a phenomenal effort from the bottom end, to pitch 30 overs for 70-somethings, which is a great effort that allowed the seamers to spin on a hot day.”
Leach added: “With the weather and that wicket, it was a good job out there, but I tried to be as aggressive as possible. I knew they would come to me a little bit, so I was just finding that balance.”