Trent Boult is a rare species among fast bowlers. The New Zealand left-arm pacer is not only a wonderful bowler, he is also an excellent fielder. His athleticism was on full display during the game between Gujarat Lions and Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2017 Indian Premier League clash at the Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium in Rajkot on Friday.
The display of athleticism from Boult was witnessed in the first ball of the 14th over. Indian legspinner Piyush Chawla was bowling to Gujarat Lions skipper Suresh Raina. The left-hander danced down the track and slogged a flighted delivery to deep mid wicket. The ball was going over the ropes for six but Boult dived to his left and caught the ball. However, the momentum dragged him over the ropes. In a split second, Boult back-flicked the ball mid-air and it landed safely on the field. In the process, the New Zealand bowler saved six runs.
His display summed up a perfect day for KKR secured a record 10-wicket win over Gujarat Lions. Chris Lynn’s magnificent 41-ball 93 and Gautam Gambhir’s aggressive 76 stitched an opening partnership of 184, the highest in the history of the tournament.
Not the first time
This is not the first time that Boult has displayed some magnificent fielding. During the Twenty20 International between West Indies and New Zealand in Dominica in July 2014, Boult pulled off a catch for the ages. Corey Anderson bowled a short ball and Kieron Pollard, who was on 13, muscled the pull shot to deep mid wicket. Boult caught the ball near the rope and realising he would go over the boundary, he flicked the ball mid-air, he jumped over the ropes and dived back in the field to take a brilliant catch with both hands.
Perhaps the best catch of Boult was during the 2013 Test match between New Zealand and West Indies. In the second Test at the Basin Reserve, Boult took a stunning catch. Anderson was once again the bowler and the batsman was Denesh Ramdin. Anderson bowled a short and wide ball and Ramdin cut it uppishly to point, only for Boult to dive to his left and take a stunning one-handed catch.
Boult would also take two further brilliant catches at the Basin Reserve. During the second Test against India in 2014, Tim Southee bowled a full ball to Ajinkya Rahane and the batsman mistimed the lofted shot to extra cover, Boult ran in from the boundary and dived to his right to take the catch one-handed.
In 2015 and at the same venue, the New Zealand pacer was at it again. In the Test vs Sri Lanka, Kumar Sangakkara, who blasted a double century, made room and lashed a cut shot to point off a James Neesham short ball but Boult took a one-handed catch diving to his left