‘It’s more than I felt I’d ever achieve’: Centurion Jack Leach has revealed his pride on claiming his 100th Test wicket, despite joking he was ‘a fraud’ after stealing final wicket off England’s fast bowlers
- Jack Leach has claimed his 100th Test wicket after he took three on day two
- The spinner spoke of his pride at reaching the milestone saying ‘I can’t believe it’
- Leach claimed key wickets of Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Rizwan going 4-98
- The spinner jested he was ‘a fraud’ after stealing final wicket off fast bowlers
Jack Leach spoke of his pride after taking his 100th Test wicket — and said the milestone made up for the challenges he has faced during a career often threatened by illness and injury.
A well-known sufferer of Crohn’s disease, Leach has at various points been struck down by sepsis, Covid and concussion — and was in danger of missing the first Test at Rawalpindi after a virus swept through the England camp.
But he recovered to take the match-winning wicket in the gloom, and on the second day in Multan helped blow away Pakistan’s middle order with the key wickets of Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Rizwan, before finishing with four for 98 to earn a priceless lead.
Jack Leach (right) has revealed his pride at claiming his 100th Test wicket against Pakistan
Shakeel, superbly caught by Jimmy Anderson, made Leach the 20th England spinner to reach 100 in Tests. And his average (33) is lower than other, more celebrated, slow left-armers — Monty Panesar, Ashley Giles, Phil Tufnell and Phil Edmonds among them.
‘I can’t really believe it,’ he said. ‘It’s more than I felt I’d ever achieve. I need to remember that. As sportsmen, it’s easy to just push on to the next thing, and nothing’s ever enough.
‘But if you told me when I was a kid that I’d take 100 wickets, I would have laughed at you. So yes, it is special.’
Leach was the pick of the bowlers on day two of the second test claiming three wickets
The pick of his dismissals, though, was the ball that did for Rizwan. Pitching on leg stump, it turned past the right-hander’s back-foot prod to hit middle and off.
Later, Leach said his favourite Test wicket came when he bowled Indian opener Rohit Sharma at Chennai in February 2021. But he said the ball that got Rizwan was ‘right up there’.
He added: ‘It felt good coming out of the hand. He’d just hit me for four over the top, so I tried to put a little bit more on that one.’
Leach claimed key wickets of Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Rizwan going 4-98 in the Test
In the immediate aftermath of the Rawalpindi win, Leach half-jokingly said he felt a ‘bit of a fraud’, having nipped in with the final wicket after England’s seamers had done a lot of the heavy lifting.
But he removed Pakistan opener Abdullah Shafique on the first evening in Multan, then built on Ollie Robinson’s crucial dismissal of Babar Azam on the second morning to put England in charge.
‘I’m just loving playing for England, the most I’ve ever loved it,’ he said. ‘There have been some definite lows along the way, but this does sort of make it all worth it.’
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