Aussie skipper Steve Smith can claim to have the safest hands in cricket at the moment after he equalled the world record for most catches by a non-wicket keeping fielder. He bagged five catches in South Africa’s 1st innings in the ongoing 3rd Test at the Newlands in Cape Town. Courtesy his five catches; Smith joined an elite group, 11 such cricketers, to have achieved the feat earlier. The only Australian cricketer has done it before Smith. It was Victor Richardson against the same opponents way back in 1936.
The quintet of catches for Smith began in the 4th over of the match when he plucked a low catch towards his left in the first slip cordon to send back Aiden Markram back to the pavilion without troubling the scorers. Following his first catch, he had to wait for as many as 62 overs for his 2nd chance. But when the chance came his way he didn’t make any mistake as he held on to a sharp catch at 2nd slip if Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis.
His 3rd catch was a straightforward one which was again at the 2nd slip. The batsman was Temba Bavuma, and it was Pat Cummins who induced an edge from his blade. While the first three catches were spread out of the quicks, Smith ended with five catches after grabbing the catches of Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel within a span of 5 deliveries. It brought an end to SSouth Africa’s innings on the score of 311.
Speaking to cricket.com.au, Smith said that he was pleased to grab the chances that came his way on Thursday.
“You’ve always got to be focused and ready for the opportunities, particularly on a good wicket when guys are playing well,” said Smith, who now has 95 catches in 64 Tests.
“You want to be able to make that game-changing sort of play. It was nice to hold on to a few yesterday. I dropped a few throughout the summer so it was nice to hold onto a few yesterday,” he said.