New Zealand cricketer Mitchell Santner cannot put a foot wrong. The Kiwi all-rounder, who is fresh from his maiden Test century, arguably pulled off one of the great catches of 2019 on the final day of the first Test against England at Tauranga's Bay Oval on Monday.
Just 24 hours on from the most memorable day of his Test cricket career on Sunday, Santner dived at full stretch to remove England batsman Ollie Pope with a stunning one-handed catch in his right hand off a Neil Wagner delivery.
Wagner had set an attacking field with a number of players closing in on the batsman. The left-arm quick came round the wicket as he bowled a lower full toss, inviting Pope to dispatch it for a boundary. The Englishman was tempted by the freebie offered by the Kiwi bowler and went for an expansive drive.
On most days, Pope would have got away with the rogue shot but not under Santner's watch. The southpaw, who was fielding at short cover-point, dived in the air to his unnatural side and took a one-handed screamer to dismiss the 21-year-old and end the partnership building between him and Ben Stokes.
Earlier, the Kiwi all-rounder had also stitched New Zealand’s highest-ever seventh-wicket partnership in Test cricket with gloveman BJ Watling. Santner scored 126 runs from 269 deliveries in their 261-run partnership. Watling scored his maiden double century and was named ‘Player of the Match’ for his match-winning innings.
Santner also delivered with the ball taking three wickets including openers Rory Burns, Dom Sibley and nightwatchman Jack Leach as England were bowled out for 197. New Zealand registered a thumping victory over visitors by an innings and 65 runs.
Mitchell Santner is most likely to be one of the overseas players to watch out for in the IPL 2020, having been retained by Chennai Super Kings and is popular amongst Indian fans due to his exploits in international cricket and the IPL alike.