Catches under pressure are often the toughest. Particularly if the result of the game hinges on whether you hold the sphere or drop it.
The stakes are very high and so is the stress. These catches are as much about character and composure as technique.
When Trent Boult saw a booming Carlos Brathwaite hit swirling towards him at wide long on, he knew this was the match.
The left-arm seamer had bowled brilliantly earlier in this day/night World match at Manchester to scalp four wickets. But this was, as the ball dropped from the night sky and beneath the floodlights, the moment of truth.
The last act of a humdinger that had hurtled towards an explosive climax. Boult, his eyes transfixed on the ball, set himself up but would the sphere clear him?
Another man following the flight of the ball anxiously was Carlos Brathwaite. He had waged a fascinating battle with the tail and now, with only the last man, Oshane Thomas, for company, he was giving a fright to the Kiwis with some breathtaking blows including three successive sixes off seamer Matt Henry.
The inspired Bajan had just completed a 100 of jaw-dropping brilliance and power hitting, and, with six needed, off the last ball of the penultimate over from James Neesham, he went for broke, pulling a short-pitched ball.
A six would provide a sensational win for the West Indies, chasing 292. But then, the ball had to travel over and beyond Boult.
ALSO READ | Player of the fortnight: Shakib Al Hasan
The sphere did not, the height was a metre short of safety. And Boult held his nerve to hold a terrific overhead catch, balancing on his right leg, and then, skilfully, ensuring that he did not cross the ropes in the act of completing the catch.
Boult raised his arms in triumph, his teammates rushed towards him while a dejected and drained Brathwaite, so heroic, sank to his knees.
This catch, demanding both heart and skill, was taken under extreme tension. Boult was not found wanting.
- India kits at Asian Games 2023: What do the patterns on the Indian jerseys signify?
- Manchester United goalkeeper Earps wins England Women’s Player of the Year
- Southee to undergo thumb surgery, ODI World Cup decision next week
- England’s Root to get ODI World Cup practice against Ireland
- Asian Games 2023: Indian debutants to watch out for at Hangzhou