Watch Jack Leach’s bizarre dismissal of New Zealand’s Henry Nicholls in Test v England that has left the cricket world stunned

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England spinner Jack Leach has described cricket as a “stupid game” after he removed New Zealand’s Henry Nicholls in one of the most bizarre moments in the sport’s recent history.

In the final over before tea on the first day of England’s third Test against New Zealand, Nicholls middled a straight drive down the pitch, with the ball seemingly destined to fly away for a boundary.

You can watch the bizarre wicket in the video above

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However in the most unfortunate twist of fate, the ball instead deflected off the outstretched bat of his batting partner Daryl Mitchell and lobbed into the hands of England’s Alex Lees at mid-off.

The Kiwi batsman trudged off the pitch in disbelief with his innings of 19 runs off 99 balls finishing with a dismissal he will never forget.

“It was unbelievable, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Leach said of the wicket.

“I didn’t even know if that was allowed, but I’ll take any wicket I can get. You get enough that don’t go your way. It was very unlucky for Nicholls but very lucky for me.

“It’s a silly game isn’t it? That’s what it made me think, it’s a stupid game we play.

“I like it because it says two wickets up on the board but I don’t like the dismissal. It’s not something I’m going to rewatch too many times.”

New Zealand batsman Henry Nicholls drives only to be caught by Alex Lees (not pictured) via the bat of Daryl Mitchell at the non strikers end. Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Jack Leach of England reacts with teammates after taking the wicket of Henry Nicholls of New Zealand as it came off the bat of New Zealand’s Daryl Mitchell. Credit: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

The wicket was so unbelievable cricket’s official rule keepers, the Marleybone Cricket Club, felt compelled to confirm it was legitimate.

“An unfortunate dismissal? Yes. But wholly within the Laws,” the MCC wrote on Twitter.

“Law states it will be out if a fielder catches the ball after it has touched the wicket, an umpire, another fielder, a runner or the other batter.”

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The stroke of luck was warmly accepted by Leach, considering his own international career has been ravaged by misfortune including illness, injury and even a concussion sustained while chasing after a ball in the first game of the series.

Leach would probably have preferred to focus on his other success, trapping opener Will Young leg before with his first delivery of the day, but there was only one dismissal up for debate at the close.

The bonus wicket helped England close the day at 5-225.

Henry Nicholls of New Zealand walks off after being dismissed in the unluckiest fashion. Credit: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

New Zealand batting coach Luke Ronchi took the setback on the chin, but suggested Nicholls may not have been feeling quite so magnanimous.

“I like those sort of things that happen, you can always say you were there at the time and if you take those factors out of the game it could make things pretty boring,” Ronchi said.

“Unfortunately for Henry, it’s his demise. We gave him a bit of space afterwards … you want to let people go through their own thoughts.”

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– With PA


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