Photographer does a Ben Stokes, catches Faf one-handed

Ian Kington was stationed at the Pavilion End of the ground, near the steps leading up to the players' dressing rooms, when South Africa captain Faf du Plessis went to a fifty with a soaring straight six off spinner Mosaddek Hossain.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis takes the aerial route at the World Cup match against Bangladesh at the Oval in London on Sunday.   -  AP

 

An AFP photographer found himself being acclaimed by a capacity crowd at the Oval on Sunday after he held a stunning catch during the World Cup match between Bangladesh and South Africa.

Ian Kington was stationed at the Pavilion End of the ground, near the steps leading up to the players' dressing rooms, when South Africa captain Faf du Plessis went to a fifty with a soaring straight six off spinner Mosaddek Hossain.

As the ball hurtled towards him and some of his fellow photographers behind long-off, Kington — keeping hold of a large telephoto lens with his left hand — calmly caught the ball with his right and then, grinning broadly, turned to show the crowd he had held onto the ball.

READ| Shakib Al Hasan fastest to 5,000 runs and 250 wickets

“That is a good grab, that is a classic catch,” said television commentator Mark Nicholas, a former captain of Hampshire, when a replay was shown.

Kington's effort became the 'play of the day' on the International Cricket Council's official tournament website, as well as that of the BBC, while being widely shared on social media.

 

“I had two frames (photographs) of him (Du Plessis) hitting the six and then the instinct is to look up and see where the ball is,” Kington told AFP.

WATCH| Stokes pulls off stunning one-handed catch

“Obviously it's quite tight for space where we sit and I couldn't move,” the 49-year-old from Kent added.

“I had my long lens camera in one hand and I just sort of reached up and it stuck and I caught it.”

What made Kington's catch all the more impressive is that he is not a cricketer himself.

“I've never played cricket in an actual team, I've just joined in a bit with my mates,” he explained.

Reflecting on his new-found celebrity image, Kington added: “My phone keeps going off. It's nice to do something that means you've got a story to tell, but I guess that's my five minutes of fame.”