Ashes 2015: Adam Voges snares unbelievable catch

Freak dismissal: Adam Voges catches a full-blooded pull shot from Alastair Cook.Ashes 2015 scoreboardBaum: more swing, more roundaboutsAustralia skittled for 136Players unhappy at Haddin’s axing

Australia’s dirty day in at Edgbaston could have been even more putrid had Adam Voges not produced an astonishingly fortuitous catch to remove England captain Alastair Cook.

Cook looked in fine fettle as England started their first innings on day one of the third Ashes Test, having already skittled Australia for 136 in just 36.4 overs.

The struggles of all four of the visitors’ seamers – Mitch Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Mitch Johnson and all-rounder Mitch Marsh – prompted captain Michael Clarke to turn to Nathan Lyon in the 18th over.

The off-spinner’s second delivery was a short ball that Cook gleefully pulled off the back foot. As the cameraman quickly panned the camera to the outfield, the ball was nowhere to be seen. It was only once the cheers from the Australians could be heard on the stump mic that the TV commentators realised what had occurred.

Voges was stationed at short leg. Rather than turn his back as Cook was about to unleash a full-blooded shot in his direction, as some close fielders prefer, Voges crouched in the hope the ball would pass over him. Instead, his squat was timed so perfectly that it trapped the ball between his right arm and chest, near his armpit. His successful retrieval of the ball left slip fielder Clarke visibly shocked, but delighted.

“No way,” former England captain David Gower remarked on the Sky Sports TV commentary. “He’s caught it without having seen it.”

While the circumstances were highly unusual it was actually the second catch of the day for which Voges was saved by his midriff.

Earlier in the innings he fumbled a chance at first slip that had come to him courtesy of Adam Lyth’s thick edge off Josh Hazlewood’s bowling. Voges juggled the chance, fell to the turf on his back to regain control of the ball only for it to fortuitously land on his stomach, where it remained long enough for the veteran to grab it.

The catches, particularly the latter, meant Voges finished the day better than he started. He had looked assured in a partnership with Chris Rogers that was Australia’s longest, straddling the lunch break, only to fall for 16 as he left his bat too close to a Jimmy Anderson delivery he was attempting to leave and was caught behind.

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