Caught and bowled dismissals are never easy. It tests the bowler’s reflexes at a point when he is following through after bowling the delivery.
Even the most athletic of bowlers have fluffed catches of their own bowling and bowlers would tell you it’s not a good feeling.
But there was no such problem for Mitchell Santner who plucked the ball out of thin air to dismiss Pakistan batsman Naseem Shah of his own bowling and in process win the first Test match for New Zealand in Tauranga.
Having batted eight overs for the last wicket, Pakistan’s final batting pair were delaying Kiwi victory until this fine piece of fielding ended their resistance. Santner deceived the batsman with a slow floating delivery. However, the job was only half done.
Shah, although early into his shot, managed to get a decent height on it and it appeared that it would evade the New Zealand spinner. But Santner was quick to react and grabbed the ball at full stretch, much to the surprise and delight of his teammates who broke away in celebration.
The catch, and the resultant win, took New Zealand all the more closer to the top of the world Test rankings and they need to avoid defeat in the next match to get to the promised land.
Here’s the video of the catch that won New Zealand the match, quite literally in the end.
You can watch the catch and the best moments of the final day here.