Joe Denly’s horror-show dropped catch on England duty in New Zealand was immediately ranked among the worst in Test match history.
Here, the PA news agency looks at five drops to feature on any list of all-time howlers.
Joe Denly, New Zealand v England, Hamilton – 2019
Kane Williamson gifted a catch so straightforward to Denly that to drop the New Zealand captain on 62 seemed almost impossible. Somehow a statuesque Denly conspired to let the ball evade his grasp, leaving bowler Jofra Archer chuckling in as wry a fashion as possible. Even England bowler Steven Finn pulled no punches when telling BBC Test Match Special: “I can’t remember a catch as simple as that being dropped.”
Mike Gatting, India v England, Chennai – 1993
👀 we were only taking about about the Mike Gatting catch the other day when he dropped the catch in India off Ian Salisbury, this has to be up there with that. 🤦🏾♂️ https://t.co/qNkMPTkjZ9
— Alex Tudor (@alextudorcoach) December 3, 2019
Umpire RS Rathore had already raised the finger after Kiran More gloved Ian Salisbury straight to England’s Gatting at silly point. Rathore had not factored into the equation that Gatting could put down one of the simplest possible chances, but that is exactly what happened. Team-mate Graeme Hick could not even stop himself giggling from the slip cordon.
Shane Warne, England v Australia, The Oval – 2005
Kevin Pietersen’s eventual 185 set in motion England’s delirious Ashes series victory, but history would have been so different had spin king Warne not fluffed a simple chance when the England star edged Brett Lee. The England fans chanted “Warnie’s dropped the Ashes”, Pietersen stormed on, and the series win inched into view.
Kiran More, England v India, Lord’s – 1990
Graham Gooch’s 333 remains one of the great English innings, but would never have happened had More held firm behind the stumps. Sanjeev Sharma drew an edge with Gooch on 36, only for India’s wicketkeeper to fumble a regulation hold.
Graham Thorpe, England v Australia, Headingley – 1997
Debutant Mike Smith forced Matthew Elliott into an edge with Australia wobbling at 50 for four. As the ball flicked towards Thorpe in the slip cordon, England were looking at a chance of victory in a series locked at one win apiece. Instead Thorpe bombed the chance, Elliott smashed 199 and England lost by an innings.