'Very rare': Cricket world erupts over strange 67-year first

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Seen here, Tom Blundell was dismissed after a rare obstructing the field ruling.
Tom Blundell's dismissal hasn't been seen in NZ since 1953. Pic: NZC

New Zealand batsman Tom Blundell has sealed a place in cricketing history after one of the most bizarre dismissals seen in years.

The Kiwi Test opener was playing for Wellington against Otago at the Basin Reserve when he fell victim to one of the rarest methods of dismissal.

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Blunder was given out for obstructing the field after kicking and swatting the ball away from the stumps.

The batsman's initial defensive effort squirted back off the pitch and looped back towards the stumps, prompting Blunder to try and kick it away.

Only managing to pop the ball up straight in the air, he then used his glove to hit it out of danger of the stumps.

Blundell's dismissal makes him the first player in first-class cricket to be given out for obstructing the field since the handled the ball rule was removed as a mode of dismissal three years ago.

He's also the first player in New Zealand domestic cricket to be out in such a manner since 1953, highlighting just how rare the incident was.

The cricket world was understandably left in a spin over the bizarre scenes in Wellington.

Kiwi batsman out after hitting century

Blundell made a solid century before his strange dismissal saw him head back to the pavilion for 101 runs.

Prior to the ICC's tweaking of the handled the ball rule in 2017, there were 63 instances of the dismissal in Test cricket - including Test captains Steve Waugh, Michael Vaughan and Graham Gooch.

In contrast, there had only been 25 previous cases of obstructing the field, with Blundell’s dismissal just the second one ever seen in New Zealand first-class cricket.

The 30-year-old is set to open the batting for New Zealand's Test side in their upcoming series against the West Indies.

Seen here, Tom Blundell salutes after making a century in the Plunkett Shield.
Tom Blundell made a century for Wellington in the match against Otago. Pic: Getty

He made a successful transition to the role last year after hitting a century in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG - having replaced Jeet Raval at the top of the order.

Blundell started the domestic season as a wicketkeeper-batsman but was removed of his keeping duties to focus on being a specialist batsman, following a succession of low scores.

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