New Zealand vs England, second Test: Jofra Archer’s hilarious celebration to Joe Denly’s dropped catch

Samuel Lovett
The Independent

England’s Jofra Archer was left with his head in his hands and a smile of disbelief on his face after wrongly celebrating what he thought to be the dismissal of New Zealand captain Kane Williamson on the fifth day of the second Test.

With Williamson on 62 at the time, Joe Denly let a straightforward opportunity slip through his hands after the New Zealander had limply prodded forward off Archer’s knuckle ball.

The bowler took a quick glance at the flight of the ball – headed in the direction of Denly’s hands – before wheeling away in celebration.

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But after being encouraged by Williamson to look back at the leg-side, Archer was met with the sight of his teammate hunched over and the ball at his feet.

Archer saw the funny side of the moment, but it was a crucial let-off that allowed Williamson to continue with his business and go on to make a century for the hosts.

Alongside Ross Taylor, who secured his Test 19th hundred, the pair’s unbroken 213-run stand staved off the prospect of an unlikely England win in the second Test and handed the series to New Zealand.

Speaking afterwards on Denly’s drop, Williamson said: “It was fairly simple. No doubt Joe’s disappointed – Jofra certainly was. I was very fortunate, you don’t get many opportunities like that.”

New Zealand had slumped to 28 for two in their second innings on day four, 73 adrift of England, but Williamson and Taylor took them into calmer waters and had reached 241 for two and a lead of 140 before the inclement weather hit.

That guaranteed a 1-0 win for the Black Caps, their fifth series victory in a row at home and second over England in the space of 20 months.

Williamson added: “It was a great effort from the guys after being slightly up against it after the first innings.

“When there’s weather around it takes time out of the game so although there is frustration there in terms of getting a result, at the same time it was a good effort to end up with a draw.

“A lot of hard work went into saving the match in the end when time didn’t allow us time to win it. But overall it was a really good effort. There was a huge amount of fight from the guys which was really pleasing to see.”

New Zealand now travel to Australia in a three-Test series starting in Perth next week.

Additional reporting by PA

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