[WATCH] England's Sam Billings takes freak catch to dismiss Neil Wagner during Day 4 of Leeds Test

Sam Billings took a smart catch to dismiss Neil Wagner. Pic: ECB/ Twitter
Sam Billings took a smart catch to dismiss Neil Wagner. Pic: ECB/ Twitter
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Renin Wilben Albert

England’s substitute wicketkeeper Sam Billings took a freak catch to dismiss New Zealand tailender Neil Wagner (0) on Day 4 of the third Test at Headingley in Leeds on Sunday (June 26).

Billings came in as a replacement for Ben Foakes, who has tested positive for COVID-19. Foakes was unable to keep wicket on Saturday as well due to back stiffness, after which Jonny Bairstow did the job behind the stumps.

In the 102nd over of New Zealand’s second innings, left-hander Wagner nicked a delivery from England left-arm spinner Jack Leach. Billings could not collect the ball cleanly. It hit his chest and headed towards the ground. However, the stand-in keeper closed his legs at the right time and the ball got stuck in between!

England Cricket’s official Twitter handle shared a video of the lucky catch with the caption:

“One crazy catch! 😅.”
One crazy catch! 😅Scorecard/clips: 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 #ENGvNZ 🇳🇿 @SamBillings

Wagner was the ninth wicket to fall in New Zealand’s second innings at a score of 305. They were all out for 326, leaving England a target of 296 to complete a 3-0 whitewash.

Blundell-Mitchell again resist England bowlers

Resuming their second innings at 168 for 5, the in-form Kiwi pair of Tom Blundell and Daryl Mitchell once again frustrated the Englishmen. This time, the duo added 113 for the sixth wicket. The partnership was broken when Matthew Potts trapped Mitchell lbw for a defiant 56 off 152 balls.

Michael Bracewell (9) and Tim Southee (2) could not contribute much and fell to Leach before Wagner’s somewhat bizarre dismissal. Leach picked up his second five-fer of the match and the first 10-wicket match haul of his Test career by cleaning up Trent Boult for 4. Leach finished with figures of 5 for 66 to go with his 5 for 100 in the first innings. Potts also impressed, ending the second innings with 3 for 66.

That a boy, @jackleach1991 👏 Ten wickets in the match! 🔴Scorecard/clips: 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 #ENGvNZ 🇳🇿 @IGcom

For New Zealand, Blundell returned unbeaten on 88 off 161 balls. His 247-minute stay at the crease saw him strike 15 fours. Chasing 296, England lost opener Alex Lees cheaply as he was run out for 9. Zak Crawley also perished to Michael Bracewell for 25 as England lost their second wicket at a score of 51.

Edited by Sai Krishna
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