No. 24

Rhodes takes five

Not a bird, not a plane, it's Jonty on fire

Neil Manthorp

May 31, 2009

Text size: A | A

Jonty Rhodes takes an incredible flying catch, England v South Africa, Emirates Triangular Trophy, Edgbaston, August 18, 1998
If it's in the air, it must be Rhodes Adrian Murrell / © Getty Images
Enlarge
Related Links

Bombay, 14 November 1993

A wicketkeeper might be lucky enough to receive three or four "regulation" catches in the course of an innings, but any more than that will inevitably include a couple of classic grabs. For an outfielder to take five catches in an innings involves a skill so special, it remains a unique record almost a decade and a half after Jonty Rhodes set it.

Having displayed his talent to the world 18 months earlier at the 1992 World Cup by running out Inzamam-ul-Haq with a horizontal dive from backward point, Rhodes' reputation as a fielder had burgeoned.

But unlike batting and bowling records, there was no yardstick by which fielders could be measured. Hosts of competent slipsmen had taken three or four catches before, and brilliant point fielders like Colin Bland never had their run-outs and saved runs officially credited or recorded.

Rhodes changed all that at the Brabourne Stadium. Brian Lara began the show by splicing a pull shot harmlessly into the air barely five yards away towards square leg. The Rhodes sprint from backward point was so committed that, having clutched the ball, he landed and slid so far on his belly, he ended up close to the shocked batsman's feet.

Phil Simmons was looking ominous when Rhodes dived to his left at short midwicket to take an "impossible", one-handed catch. Jimmy Adams then clipped Pat Symcox to Rhodes at midwicket, before Anderson Cummins fell to a catch that was not so much impossible as absurd. A slashed cut shot against Allan Donald was flying towards third man when Rhodes leapt skyward, twisting backwards as he did so, and stuck out his right hand to take the catch behind the rest of his body.

Opener Desmond Haynes, having retired hurt earlier in the innings, returned to provide South Africa's young talisman a regulation offering to end the innings. The record catch may not have been special, but the moment was as magical as they come.

Neil Manthorp is a South African broadcaster and journalist, and head of the MWP Sport agency

RSS Feeds: Neil Manthorp

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

FeedbackTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Neil ManthorpClose
Neil Manthorp Neil Manthorp is a writer and broadcaster based in Cape Town where he started the independent sports news agency MWP Media in 1992. He has covered more than 40 tours and 120 Test matches since South Africa's return to international cricket and Zimbabwe's elevation to Test status. A regular commentator for SABC radio, Neil has also joined the host radio teams in West Indies, New Zealand, Australia and England - where he preferred Test Match Special's pork pies to their chocolate cake. He recently completed Gary Kirsten's biography.

    Worst keepers, and honours at Lord's

Ask Steven: Also, most keeping dismissals on debut, seven-for at HQ, and youngest ODI centurions

    From swinging London to Maco country

Diary: Our correspondent walks and buses the streets of the English capital, and then heads for the coast

    When Pidge strayed

My Favourite Cricket Story: Brett Lee remembers how Australia nearly lost the Old Trafford Test in the 2005 Ashes

    How we misunderstand risk in sport

Ed Smith: Success, failure, innovation - they are all about our willingness to take risks and how we judge them

When Jesse went pongo

Beige Brigade: The boys discuss the throbbing excitement of the World Cup, spot slow Bodyline in England, and attack the TV coverage's technology

News | Features Last 7 days

Vijay rediscovers the old Monk

The leave outside off stump has been critical to M Vijay's success since his India comeback last year. Contrary to popular opinion, such patience and self-denial comes naturally to him

Ridiculed Ishant ridicules England

Ishant Sharma has often been the butt of jokes, and sometimes deservedly so. Today, however, the joke was on England

England seem to have forgotten about personality

They have to see a glass that is half-full, and play the game as if it is just that, a game; and an opportunity

Bhuvneshwar on course for super series

Only 15 times in Test history has a player achieved the double of 300 runs and 20 wickets in a Test series. Going on current form, Bhuvneshwar could well be the 16th

Ishant's fourth-innings heroics in rare company

In India's win at Lord's, Ishant Sharma took the best bowling figures by an Indian in the fourth innings of a Test outside Asia. Here are five other best bowling efforts by Indians in the fourth innings of Tests outside Asia

News | Features Last 7 days
Sponsored Links

Why not you? Read and learn how!