“The best catch I’ve ever seen live” was Worcestershire Rapids First Team Coach Alex Gidman’s assessment of Ed Barnard’s stunning diving effort in the Vitality Blast match with Lancashire Lightning at Emirates Old Trafford.
Gidman is hoping Barnard’s memorable catch in the deep was captured on film for posterity as the England Lions all-rounder gave another superb demonstration of his fielding skills.
Barnard sprinted full pelt around from deep mid-wicket to the deep fine leg region and then dived full length to produce a one handed catch to dismiss Lightning opener Liam Livingstone after he had pulled a delivery from Wayne Parnell.
It surpassed even the brilliant catch Barnard had pulled off in the deep against Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge eight days ago to account for Jake Libby.
Gidman said: I genuinely think that is the best catch I have ever seen live. It was absolutely amazing.
“I really hope someone somewhere has got it on some form of footage because it was absolutely unbelievable.”
Barnard’s catch capped off a dramatic over of cricket which encapsulated all that is exciting about Blast cricket.
Livingstone had twice swivelled and lifted Parnell over wicket-keeper Ben Cox’s head for sixes before falling victim to Barnard’s supreme catch.
Gidman said: “It was an extra-ordinary over. That was the difference between the two teams, a couple of sixes like that.
“Credit to Liam. He had the courage to go for it and used the pace (of the ball) and got them away.”
The Rapids have named an unchanged squad for Sunday’s home Blast encounter with Durham (2.30pm start) – the 11 players in action against Lancashire plus Tom Fell, George Rhodes and Charlie Morris.