Chris Jordan’s brilliance in the field is well documented, his catching almost unsurpassable but his effort against India in the T20 decider has to go down as his best, although, technically, it wasn’t his catch.
Suryakumar Yadav has looked in almost invincible form at the crease having latterly been given a chance in the shortest format by his country and so beautifully dominant was his playing that it was almost a shame his innings had to end when it did.
That said, what an incredible piece of athleticism and hand-eye co-ordination it was to end it.
Of course, those perusing the bare scorecard years from now – if you should ever be inclined to look at random T20 scorecards – will not recognise if for what it was because it actually went down to Jason Roy. Those who remember the game will of course recall the smile on Roy’s face as he did the easy bit.
Suryakumar had hit three fours and two sixes in his 16 balls and fancied the symmetry of a third smaximum. Smashing Adil Rashid towards cow corner, it looked nailed on to clear the rope.
Then, suddenly, at the bottom of the screen, Jordan steamed into view from long-on, stretched out his right hand while still running and snared it in his invisible net, as if a lacrosse player had somehow been transported into the wrong game.
Realising he was running out of track, he had the nous to compute Roy’s movement towards him from deep mid-wicket and offloaded to the Surrey opener, the ball in the air as Jordan river-danced over the boundary and back again.
You can never underestimate Jordan’s ability to come up with something new. Here are four other examples of his fielding art.
West Indies v England 2015 first Test, Antigua
The fast medium bowler took a cracker off the spin of James Tredwell – remember him –flinging himself to his right to hang on one-handed and only millimetres from the ground as Kraigg Brathwaite was caught neither going forward nor back and paid the price.
West Indies v England 2015 first Test
Some say his take off the left-handed Darren Bravo was even better. Maybe, but this time it was Joe Root who was the beneficiary. Bravo drove, and Jordan, standing a little wider than usual at slip, had to go back the other way – to his right – to pouch it. To be fair his body barely moved, but the right hand shot out to grasp it and send Root on an Imran-Tahir-like celebration.
New Zealand v England 2018 T20 Wellington
The man who rarely needs to use two hands when one will do was at it again and Rashid once more was the bowler to profit. Colin De Grandhomme, a big man in more than name, looked to have hit his first ball over long-off for six but was astonished to see Jordan leap like a basketball player completing a slam dunk, snatch the ball in one hand and land inside the rope.
South Africa v England, 2016, 2nd ODI Port Elizabeth 2016
OK, so this was a two-handed effort but Jordan can be forgiven for using both, considering he was running with the ball coming down over his shoulder after AB De Villiers had smashed Ben Stokes deep into the outfield at mid-wicket. Even then he had to dive full length to claim it and De Villiers, looking threatening on 73, was gone.
This article first appeared on Guerilla Cricket.