Sunday, 14 February 2016, 11:53am
Five cricketing drops that have gone on to prove costly
The England spinner gained a measure of revenge by castling Morris with a googly at the Wanderers, but it was immaterial as the hosts only needed one run for a win that squared the series at 2-2 heading into Sunday's decider.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at five more costly dropped catches:
1 SHANE WARNE SHELLS KEVIN PIETERSEN - SEPTEMBER 2005
The leg-spinner had been Australia's talisman in the greatest Ashes series of all-time, so it was unfortunate that his drop of the equally mercurial Pietersen proved so crucial to the outcome of the result. The hosts needed to bat all day to secure a momentous 2-1 victory, but were three wickets down and only 99 ahead when Pietersen edged Brett Lee straight down first slip's throat. Warne, who had taken 40 wickets in the series, grassed the chance and the then 25-year-old Pietersen capitalised with a breathtaking 158, his maiden Test century and one that started him on the path to an unforgettable career.
2 BRAD HADDIN PUTS DOWN JOE ROOT - JULY 2015
Haddin's form in the 2013/14 Ashes - 493 runs at 61.62 - is sometimes overlooked as one of the key reasons for Australia's whitewash victory, but the return series proved fraught for the wicketkeeper-batsman. England were wobbling on 43 for three on the first morning in Cardiff and it appeared matters would get worse when middle-order linchpin Root edged Mitchell Starc behind. Haddin dived to his right but the ball popped out of his glove, and the Yorkshireman went on to a thereafter-flawless 134, an innings that helped England take a 1-0 series lead. It was to prove Haddin's final match in Australian colours, an unfitting epitaph to a great career.
3 HERSCHELLE GIBBS SPILLS STEVE WAUGH - JUNE 1999
Australia needed to beat South Africa in the final match of the Super Sixes to reach the World Cup semi-finals but their captain supreme Waugh walked to the crease with the score 48 for three chasing a victory target of 272 at Headingley. Waugh and Ricky Ponting both made fifties to keep the game in the balance before the former clipped to midwicket, where Gibbs, whose ton was the cornerstone of the Proteas' innings, dropped a simple chance. Waugh denied making the "you just dropped the World Cup" remark, but he would not have been far off, as he registered an unbeaten 120 which spurred his side to victory with two balls remaining before they went on to claim the first of three consecutive tournament wins.
4 CHRIS SCOTT GRASSES BRIAN LARA - JUNE 1994
Remembered as the most costly drop of all time, Scott could have made centuries in his next four matches and still not wiped out the deficit. The Durham wicketkeeper is reported to have said: "I suppose he'll get a hundred now", after putting down a straight forward chance behind the stumps when the West Indies great, batting for Warwickshire, was on 18. How Scott must wish that were true. Instead, the prolific Lara compiled a gargantuan 501 not out, which included 62 fours and 10 sixes, to help the Bears to 810 for four declared in a drawn match at Edgbaston.
5 ASHLEY GILES DROPS RICKY PONTING - DECEMBER 2006
England's stomach-churning collapse on the final day of the second Ashes Test in Adelaide, putting Australia on the path to a famous whitewash win, was a source of pain for many followers of Andrew Flintoff's beleaguered tourists, but things may have turned out much differently if the 'King of Spain' hand clung on to the Australian captain. The hosts were 78 for three in response to England's 551 for six declared and Ponting looked to be on his way when a trademark pull off Matthew Hoggard went to deep square-leg, only for Giles to spill it over his head. Ponting went on to make 142 and the rest is history.
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Brad Haddin endured a miserable tour of England last year