Cricket world in disbelief over Kiwi bowler's 'inexcusable' act

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Ben Stokes, pictured here getting a massive reprieve from Colin de Grandhomme in the first Test.
Ben Stokes was given a massive reprieve from Colin de Grandhomme in the first Test. Image: ECB/Getty

Joe Root and Ben Stokes have given England a massive chance to win the first Test against New Zealand, but only after an unforgivable blunder from Kiwi bowler Colin de Grandhomme.

Set 277 to win by New Zealand in Stokes' first game as captain, England appeared to be heading towards another defeat when the new skipper was seemingly dismissed after an ugly hack at a ball from De Grandhomme.

'DISGRACE': Cricket fans up in arms over England Test farce

'LOVE THIS': Cricket world unites in tribute to Shane Warne

England were left reeling at 5-76 after Stokes chopped the ball straight back onto his stumps after advancing down the wicket.

However the new captain received a huge lifeline when replays showed De Grandhomme had bowled a front-foot no-ball, erasing Stokes' dismissal from the record books.

The monumental blunder from the Kiwi bowler completely changed the shape of the game as England added another 83 runs before Stokes was dismissed legitimately.

Celebrating his 31st birthday, Stokes clubbed his way to 54, hitting three sixes and five fours and riding his good fortune to drag England back into contention before Rook took charge.

Former captain Root occupied the crease with calm authority, finishing the day unbeaten on 77 and guiding England to 5-216.

The hosts need another 61 runs to win the match on the fourth day and will be favourites to chase down New Zealand's total.

The Kiwis will be ruing De Grandhomme's blunder, which could cost them the victory.

Colin de Grandhomme, pictured here bowling a no-ball while dismissing Ben Stokes.
Colin de Grandhomme bowled a no-ball while dismissing Ben Stokes. Image: ECB

England star Stuart Broad admitted the hosts got a huge lift when Stokes was sent back to the crease.

“I can’t play that down, there was big energy,” he said.

“It was (batting coach) Marcus Trescothick who had an earpiece in and when we were all saying ‘oh no’ he just went: ‘It’s a no ball! It’s a no ball!’.

“We all looked up at the screen and saw Stokesy turning back around and of course that gives the whole changing room a lift.

“We’ve been on the flip side of that a few times and it does hurt. It also freed Stokesy up a bit to play how he wanted to play.”

Kiwi sports writer Andrew Gourdie tweeted: "I’m afraid that’s inexcusable from De Grandhomme."

England-New Zealand Test on a knife edge

Stuart Broad had earlier led the England bowling attack in a vital fightback which saw the Kiwis lose their last six wickets for just 34 runs, including a maiden scalp for debutant leg-spinner Matt Parkinson.

At one stage the tourists coughed up three wickets in as many balls, with two for Broad and the forlorn De Grandhomme run out for a golden duck.

New Zealand held all the cards at the start of play, 227 runs ahead with six wickets in the bank and hundreds in sight for Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell.

But they failed to capitalise on the pair's 195-run stand and their 285 all out offered the hosts a fighting chance.

Joe Root and Ben Stokes, pictured here during the first Test against New Zealand.
Joe Root and Ben Stokes put England in the box seat to win the first Test against New Zealand. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

But Alex Lees mustered just 20 before offering no shot to Kyle Jamieson and watched on helplessly as the ball tailed into his off stump.

Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope faltered in familiar style. Crawley's weakness in the channel saw him caught at gully for nine before Pope was comprehensively bowled by Trent Boult on 10.

Jonny Bairstow attempted to ease the pressure by going on the front foot, taking 14 off one Boult over before dragging on with a reckless drive at Jamieson.

That brought past and present captains together, with Root's measured approach offering a calming counterpoint to Stokes' high-risk strategy.

with AAP

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting