‘Is there anything this man can’t do?’ is a cliched phrase that has, of late, been used whenever Ben Stokes does something special but today at Old Trafford, we might have gotten the answer for that question. Yep, it looks like Stokes cannot take easy catches when he’s distracted by a teammate.
With Day 3 of the Old Trafford Test being completely washed out by rain, England needed a special bowling performance on Day 4 to keep their hopes of regaining the Wisden Trophy alive. And in their way stood an unlikely roadblock in the form of Alzarri Joseph who, after walking into bat as a nightwatchman towards the end of Day 2, looked adamant to prove his credentials as a batsman.
England squandered one opportunity to send Joseph back to the pavilion on Day 2, after failing to review a plumb LBW, but to their agony, they handed the nightwatchman a second life early on Day 4. And the culprit, much to everyone’s surprise, turned out to be their saviour Ben Stokes.
The said incident occurred on the fourth ball of the 17th over, with Joseph batting on 19*. After the now-bearded Chris Woakes bowled a good length delivery that angled into Joseph and moved away from the batsman at the very last moment, the right-hander prodded his bat towards the ball. Unsurprisingly, the ball took the edge of Joseph’s bat and on the first look, it looked like it was headed towards the slip cordon at a comfortable height.
Well, the ball did head towards the slip cordon at an extremely comfortable height, but it was, however, bafflingly put down by Ben Stokes. With the ball approaching him at a convenient height towards his right, Stokes was put off by a diving Zak Crawley who, standing at third slip, launched an ambitious attempt of his own to take a spectacular catch. However, the youngster, instead of going for the catch, checked his dive at the very last moment and this, in turn, ended up distracting Stokes, who spilt what should have been a regulation catch.
As the England players looked in disbelief, Joseph breathed a sigh of relief. Eventually, he added 13 more runs to his tally before perishing to the spin of Dom Bess.
Watch the video here:
DROPPED! 😯— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) July 19, 2020
Frustration for Woakes as he brings the edge but Stokes can't hold on at second slip. A life for Joseph and West Indies are 49-1.
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