“That has to rank as possibly the worst-ever drop in Test cricket.”
England’s Joe Denly will have had better times than he endured on the final day of the second Test in Hamilton.
Things were already against England as they pressed for victory over New Zealand. The pitch was flat, the rain was closing in and Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor were hanging around like limpets.
Jofra Archer enters the attack. He draws Williamson into a poor shot. The ball loops tamely to Joe Denly at mid-wicket.
Knee height. A dolly. He could almost catch it with his eyes closed.
And he drops it.
It was such an easy chance that Archer was already off celebrating…
…but then he realised that no-one was joining in.
…and turned to see the ball on the ground.
What can you do but laugh…?
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew said it was possibly the worst drop he had seen in Test cricket. “Even if you took your 95-year-old grandma out in the garden now, in the dark, and threw her a tennis ball from five yards, she’d catch that.”
Former New Zealand captain Jeremy Coney had only seen an easier catch dropped “in an under-nines game in a heavy wind”, while England bowler Steven Finn described it as a “goober”.
The England players couldn’t believe it. Neither could the commentators. Hands were on heads all around Seddon Park.
Soon, Denly was trending on Twitter…
Lewis Starks:I’ve just got off the phone to my nan and she has confirmed Joe Denly’s worst nightmare. She would have done it one handed.
Grant Kennett:If you ever feel like you’re bad at your job, or that you’re not good at anything, find the video of Joe Denly (a professional cricketer) dropping a catch today off Kane Williamson. It will be the greatest self-help clip you will ever watch.
James:I managed to drop my breakfast on my three-day old carpet this morning. Probably not as bad as poor Joe’s drop though.
Freddie:I once dropped someone’s three-tier 50th birthday cake in front of them that their wife spent all day making and decorating with fresh fruit. I feel your pain, Joe.
Penny Barr:Poor Denly. Being fair, I managed to drop this year’s Christmas cake as I got it out of the oven and it’s more of a topping now.
Steve, Cheltenham:I dropped my phone, and in trying to catch it, dropped a big glass of red wine on the beige-coloured ottoman which my girlfriend had spent weeks choosing. It was wrecked. I estimate she may forget this incident in 2031. Possibly.
To make matters worse for Denly, Williamson went on to make an unbeaten 104 as New Zealand – aided by the rain – secured the draw that gave them a 1-0 series win.
His howler is sure to be played over and over on the bloopers reel.
Still, at least he can say he has left his own sporting legacy…
Filthyblueharts:Dropping a sitter should forever more be known as ‘doing a Denly’.