Will Williams. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Poor old Will Williams.
He is going to be remembered as the guy who have got out,
handled ball, on debut.
The 20-year-old Canterbury medium pacer did not know the
rule, so when he got a bottom edge into the pitch and saw the
ball was about to hit his stumps, he palmed the ball away
with the cup of his hand.
There are 10 ways to be dismissed in cricket and that is one
Williams is only the fourth person to be dismissed handled
ball in New Zealand first-class cricket.
The last bloke to lose his wicket that way was former New
Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan in Hamilton in
1991-92, so Williams is in some reasonable company.
It is an extremely rare mode of dismissal. There have been
just nine instances in international cricket.
South African Russell Endean (1957) was the first
international player undone for using his hand to swat the
ball away. It had looped from his pads and threatened his
stumps before he padded it with his mitt.
Other notable players who suffered the same fate include
Australian great Steve Waugh, West Indies opener Desmond
Haynes and English pair Graham Gooch and Michael Vaughan.
Otago batsman Alan Gilbertson was out handled ball against
Auckland in January 1953, and the only other time it has
happened in New Zealand first-class cricket was when the
MCC's Edward Benson used his hand to stop the ball in a game
against Auckland in 1929-30.