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England: Jack Leach admits he didn’t know his freakish dismissal of Henry Nicholls was legitimate 

‘I didn’t even know that was allowed’: Jack Leach admits he didn’t realize his erratic dismissal of Henry Nicholls on day one of the third test against New Zealand was legitimate

  • Jack Leach confessed he didn’t know his resignation from Henry Nicholls was allowed
  • Nicholls drove it into non-striker Devon Conway’s bat and it looped to Alex Lees
  • It is one of the most bizarre and strangest wickets ever in the history of cricket
  • The England spinner took the wicket from New Zealand batter Nicholls on Thursday
  • Black Caps finished the first day of the third test at Headingley, Leeds at 225-5

Jack Leach confessed to not realizing that his erratic dismissal of Henry Nicholls on the opening day of the third LV= Insurance Test was legitimate.

Nicholls trudged away on the eve of tea in Headingley after a thumping straight drive bounced off Daryl Mitchell’s bat at the non-rush hour end and into the hands of a merry Alex Lees half way through.

It took England captain Ben Stokes a celebratory attack on him, before Somerset’s left arm spinner clocked in that the laws of the game wouldn’t deem the ball dead in such a situation and that his bit of luck had earned him a second wicket.

New Zealander Henry Nicholls received one of the most bizarre layoffs in cricket history

New Zealander Henry Nicholls received one of the most bizarre layoffs in cricket history

And Jack Leach has admitted he didn't realize his erratic firing of Nicholls was legitimate

And Jack Leach has admitted he didn’t realize his erratic firing of Nicholls was legitimate

The batter's drive of a ball from English spinner Leach seemed destined for the border

The batter’s drive of a ball from English spinner Leach seemed destined for the border

‘I didn’t even know if that was allowed. I’ve never seen anything like it. But I’ll take every wicket I can, as you’ll get plenty of situations that don’t go your way,’ Leach said.

‘It was very unfortunate for Nicholls; very good luck to me. It’s a silly game, isn’t it? That got me thinking.’

It left New Zealand’s number five desolate and the tourists 123 for five, but their assistant coach Luke Ronchi saw the funny side and joked that it was typical of Mitchell’s series for the ball to find the center of the bat.

He added: ‘I like those kinds of things that happen. It’s part of the game, it also makes it exciting because you can always say you were there. If you took that kind of situation out of the game, it would get pretty boring.”

Leach, who turned 31 on the eve of this match, has gone through a series of ups and downs.

But Daryl Mitchell - by taking evasive action - managed to get the center of his bat on the ball

But Daryl Mitchell – by taking evasive action – managed to get the center of his bat on the ball

The ball then slid straight into the hands of Alex Lees (left), halfway down the field for England

The ball then slid straight into the hands of Alex Lees (left), halfway down the field for England

Within minutes of Stokes and Brendon McCullum’s new era opening, he suffered a concussion that ruled him out of the rest of the test after “trying to run to the border like our coach used to do”.

He then worked for 25 wicketless and largely toothless overs at Trent Bridge before picking up later in the game.

Here he showed that he can be effective at the start of Test matches as well as at the end when he struck with his first delivery on opening morning at Headingley.

The day had started with the resting Jimmy Anderson handing him a commemorative cap for 25 Test appearances.

However, Moeen Ali’s recent withdrawal from his Test retirement and a suggestion from Adil Rashid that he also consider playing under the Stokes-McCullum axis could put him under pressure for his place.

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Leach and some of his England team-mates initially seemed confused as to whether it mattered

But their confusion finally turned to joy when Nicholls ran away just before tea break

But their confusion finally turned to joy when Nicholls ran away just before tea break

But Leach responded: ‘I’m just trying to do the best I can and do a good job for the team. If people want to play, fine.

“Of course they will choose the best team they can for England and my job is to look after me and put myself in the best position to be on that team. I really can’t control anything else.’

New Zealand closed at 225 for five courtesy of another uninterrupted century tally from Mitchell and Tom Blundell.

It had been England’s advantage over the tea after Leach’s bizarre second and first international wicket for his format county colleague Jamie Overton, a staggering nine years after his first selection.

Stuart Broad, 36 today, batted twice before lunchtime either side of Leach, pinning Will Young’s leg earlier on Kane Williamson’s decision to bat exactly 12 months after his team got the mace of Test cricket as the inaugural champions of the traditional format.

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