Jack Leach is pleased with his luck, but admits being fired without bigotry is not a collectible.

Jack Leach was happy to capitalize on rare good fortune when Henry Nicholls was sacked on the first day of England’s final Test against New Zealand.

each of them had their international career cut short by a number of unfortunate circumstances, including illness, injury, and even a concussion while chasing a ball in the first game of the LV=Insurance Series.

He belatedly changed fortunes, and it came in the final before tea at Headingley when Nicholls slammed him hard on the ground just for an unplanned swing from the middle of the bat by non-hitter Daryl Mitchell.

The ball went to Alex Lees midway through the match, giving England a bonus wicket in New Zealand penalties, 225 out of five.

Leach would have probably preferred to focus on his other success, trapping lbw rookie Will Young when his first pitch of the day flattened well off the field, but only one dismissal was discussed at the end.

“It was incredible, I have never seen anything like it,” he said.

It was very unfortunate for Nicholls, but very fortunate for me.Jack Leach

“I didn’t even know if it was allowed, but I’ll take any wicket I can get my hands on. You get enough that you don’t go your own way. It was very unfortunate for Nicholls, but very fortunate for me.

“It’s a stupid game, isn’t it? That’s what got me thinking, it’s a stupid game we’re playing. I like it because it says two wickets on the board, but I don’t like getting fired. It’s not something I’m going to watch too many times.”

New Zealand baseball coach Luke Ronchi resigned himself to the failure, but suggested that Nicholls may not have felt so magnanimous.


Henry Nicholls was an unlucky hitter (Mike Egerton/PA)

“I love things like this that happen, you can always say you were there at the time, and if you take those factors out of the game, it can make things pretty boring,” he said.

“Unfortunately for Henry, this is his demise. After that, we gave him some freedom… you want people to think for themselves.”

The game was neatly balanced, with England taking three wickets in the morning session after being asked to play first in serene conditions for only an unbroken stand of 102 between in-form Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell to balance the scales.


Stuart Broad (right) also took two wickets (Mike Egerton/Pennsylvania).

It was the third major partnership in the series between the two, who had previously put up 236 at Trent Bridge and 195 at Lorde, but they don’t need to be reminded that they both ended up losing.

The English seamstresses made a big difference under difficult conditions, with Stuart Broad defeating the first Tom Latham and captain Kane Williamson before dinner, debutant Jamie Overton convinced Devon Conway to play further for his first international wicket, and Matthew Potts twice saw strong lbw shouts go unrewarded.

“It was a great feeling (to take the test wicket), you want to get it out of the way pretty early,” Overton told Sky Sports.

“It was nice to get it, but I would like a few more. However, we had a good day after being stuck in a field and walking at 2.5 (runs per over) all day.

“Lychee put in a phenomenal effort from the bottom to make 30 over 70 overs, a huge effort that allowed seamers to take turns on a hot day.”

Leach added: “Given the weather and this wicket, it was a good job, but I tried to be as aggressive as I could. I knew they were going to attack me a little, so I just found that balance.”