It won’t come as much consolation to Saqib Mahmood, after his moment of triumph was snatched away from him at Bridgetown, but he’s not the first England bowler to be denied a maiden Test wicket by a no-ball. He’s not even the first in the current England XI
It had already been a lengthy stint in the field for England, with Australia strongly placed on 367 for 5, when Stokes, making his debut, thought he had removed Haddin for 51…
Stokes to Haddin, 1 no ball, Stokes has struck – that’s his first Test wicket! Or is it? Oh dear, it’s a no-ball! It was a lovely length, drawing Haddin forward to edge behind and it was a clear edge – but Marais Erasmus asks to check the front-foot no-ball and it is a few centimetres over. Clearly a no-ball, and what a disappointment for Stokes.
What happened next? There was a heated exchange between Stokes and Haddin who would go on to make 118 in Australia’s 570 for 9 dec
Wood, a Durham team-mate of Stokes, was making his debut against New Zealand at Lord’s. England had made a useful 389, but New Zealand’s openers had started well when it appeared Wood had broken through by removing Guptill on 24…
Wood to Guptill, 1 no ball, straighter line, it bounces a little and takes the outside edge to first slip! Wood has his first Test wicket…oh no he doesn’t! Wood has surely overstepped, what a calamity. It’s so close but I don’t think he’s got anything behind the line here. Yep, no-ball called and Wood is robbed of a first wicket through his own fault, what a shame for him because it was a lovely delivery, angled in and straightening just enough to take the edge
What happened next? Guptill went on to make 70 in an opening stand of 148 with Tom Latham. Wood eventually claimed Brendon McCullum as his maiden scalp
England had kept Warner waiting in the 90s after he had skipped effortlessly towards three figures. But, on 99, they thought the plan had worked
Curran to Warner, 1 no ball, gone! Warner has utterly muffed the moment! A good length delivery, spooned off a top-edge to mid-on … but it’s a no-ball! Oh, this is just spectacular. Warner was halfway off, Curran was celebrating his maiden Test wicket, but the TV replay revealed his heel had crossed the line. It’s a glorious Boxing Day farce!
What happened next? Warner reached his century next ball but would only add three more runs before edging behind against James Anderson.
England had managed to extract Steven Smith short of another hundred and in the final over of the morning session Crane had a huge appeal for lbw against Usman Khawaja, on 132 at the time…
Crane to Khawaja, 1 no ball, huge appeal for lbw! Crane is imploring and Root has called the review. Did Khawaja play a shot, doesn’t seem so – thrust his pad at the ball, bat a long way from it. Well, is this a no-ball? Yes, it’s a no-ball! England won’t lose the review, but would it have been out? Yes, it would have been out, providing the third umpire had determined there was no shot played! Was hitting off stump with Khawaja just padding it away. England angered by the no-ball call, but it seemed fair on the replay. Oh boy
What happened next? Crane eventually got his man, but not before Khawaja had batted on for another 26 overs and 39 runs. He was eventually drawn down the pitch to fall for 171 and give the spinner his maiden Test wicket.
His fellow debutant Matt Fisher had struck with the second ball of his Test career, but as Kraigg Brathwaite and Jermaine Blackwood bedded in for a century stand on an unforgiving surface, Mahmood was into his 14th over, across four spells, before seemingly getting his moment of catharsis …
Mahmood to Blackwood, 1 no ball, Knocks him over! Mahmood has his first Test wicket… wait a minute! He’s overstepped! Inch-perfect yorker, 85mph/136kph and dipping low to crash into the base of middle stump. But it doesn’t count, because the third umpire has spotted an overstep. Ecstasy to agony.
What happened next? Blackwood, on 65 at the time, reset himself against his favourite opponents – his average, in excess of 46, is more than 15 points higher than his career mark of 30. At the other end, and unperturbed, Brathwaite nudged along to his tenth Test century, and third against England, to drag his team closer to parity…
This article was first published in January 2018