A horror Joe Denly drop epitomised England’s start to day five in Hamilton, as Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor all but ended their already faint hopes of victory.
With runs coming freely off the blades of Williamson and Taylor, New Zealand went into the lead after the fourth over of the day, still only two wickets down in their second innings. They had already been on the receiving end of one let off when Ollie Pope shelled a reasonably regulation chance behind the stumps after Williamson gloved a Ben Stokes bouncer.
While it was a chance you’d expect a wicketkeeper to take, it is only Pope’s sixth first-class game as a designated wicketkeeper, lending some mitigation to the missed opportunity.
The worst dropped catch….ever?pic.twitter.com/PdpgSnabnf
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) December 2, 2019
You’d struggle to find similar levels of sympathy for Joe Denly after his missed chance, however.
A Jofra Archer variation that saw him use less front arm in his action induced a mistimed flick from Williamson straight to Denly at midwicket. Coming to Denly slowly at waist height, Denly inexplicably dropped the ball. Such was the apparent ease of the chance, Archer had already wheeled away in celebration before the ball had reached the fielder.
After the drop, Denly wasn’t approached by any of his teammates with Stokes and Stuart Broad showing visible displays of shock in the background. Archer, who had taken just two wickets in the series at the time, appeared to see the funny side of the incident, and walked back to his mark with a wide grin on his face.