You might have heard many people say, “Catches win matches.” In some cases, these words seem prophetic. A dropped catch lowers the morale of the fielding team. It can have a terrible impact on the result of the match. In international cricket, there are many cases where one dropped catch cost a team a crucial match, a place in the final, or even the championship. Let us see the Top 10 Most Expensive Dropped Catches-
1. Trent Boult
New Zealand’s Trent Boult probably committed the most fatal mistake of his cricket career in the 2019 World Cup Final. Chasing 242 to win, England was hanging by a thread on 220/7 but had hope in Ben Stokes (batting on 63). When they needed 22 from 9, Stokes launched one towards the deep mid-wicket. Boult, the fielder there, did well to take the catch. But after taking the catch, he took a few steps backward and stepped on the boundary in the process. Not only did Stokes survive, but England also got 6 crucial runs. England eventually won the World Cup on boundary count.
2. Shane Warne
The Ashes is one of the most competitive cricket competitions. Before the 5th Test in the Ashes 2005, England led the series 2-1. In the 5th Test, Australia had the chance to level the series. In the 3rd innings, Kevin Pietersen edged one to the slips. Shane Warne, at the first slip, dropped him. Pietersen was on 15 at that instance. He went on to score 158 and helped England draw the match. England won the Ashes 2005 by 2-1.
3. Herschelle Gibbs
In the 1999 World Cup, Australia played a Super Six match against South Africa. Australia was chasing the target of 272 and was struggling at 48/3. When Steve Waugh was on 56, he flicked Lance Klusener to Herschelle Gibbs at mid-wicket. Gibbs made a mess of the catch and gave Waugh a reprieve. It turned out to be a fatal drop and Waugh made 120* to guide Australia home. Later in the semi-final, the match between these two was tied. But Australia advanced to the Final due to a superior position in the points table.
4. Marcus Harris
Australia led the 5-match series 1-0 going into the 3rd Test. In this match at Headingley, the stage was set for Australia to take a big step towards retaking the Ashes. But England’s Ben Stokes was in the way. Chasing 359, England was 342/9 with Stokes on 116* and Jack Leach on 12-ball naught. Stokes edged one towards the deep point where Marcus Harris dropped a humongous catch. England eventually won the match.
5. Marlon Samuels
West Indies and New Zealand locked horns in the 4th Quarter Final of the 2015 ICC World Cup in Wellington. New Zealand won the toss and opted to bat first. On the third ball of the first innings, Martin Guptill hit one straight to Marlon Samuels at square leg. But Samuels spilled a pretty straightforward catch. Guptill went on to score a huge 237*, the highest individual score ever in World Cup history. In the end, West Indies lost the match by 143 runs.
6. Thisara Perera
India’s Rohit Sharma was on his smashing best against Sri Lanka but had a touch of luck too. In the 4th ODI in Kolkata in 2014, India chose to bat first. When Rohit was on 4, Thisara Perera dropped his catch in third-man. This was the second life Rohit needed. He smashed the bowlers all around the ground to pile up 264, the highest individual score ever in ODI history. Sri Lanka had to face a defeat by 153 runs.
7. Hasan Ali
It was the 2021 T20 World Cup Semi-Final. Australia was struggling to score while chasing 177. Hasan Ali was fielding at deep mid-wicket. At the start of the 19th over, Australia needed 22. Ali had leaked 15 runs in the previous over. In the first two balls of the 19th over, Australia had scored 2 runs. On the 3rd ball, Matthew Wade hit one towards Ali, who made a mess of the catch. In the meantime, Wade and Stoinis ran 2. Wade hit 3 sixes on the following three balls to take Australia to the Final.
8. Kiran More
India had won their first away test series against England in their previous visit in 1986. In 1990, they were playing the first Test at Lord’s. When English captain Graham Gooch was on 36, Indian wicketkeeper Kiran More dropped him. Gooch went on to score a monumental 333. His innings made sure that England won the match by 247 runs. The next two matches ended in a draw, as England won the series by 1-0.
9. Cheteshwar Pujara And Jasprit Bumrah
India was playing against New Zealand in the Final of the inaugural World Test Championship 2020-21. New Zealand needed 139 runs to win. At 84/2, India had a chance to open up one end and put pressure on the rest of the Kiwi batters in swinging conditions. Ross Taylor edged Jasprit Bumrah to the slips. But Cheteshwar Pujara dropped him. 13 overs later, Bumrah dropped Kane Williamson. Both the batters saw New Zealand through and won the Final.
10. Abdul Razzaq
Pakistan had never beaten India in a World Cup match in the previous three attempts. They got a chance to do so in the 2003 World Cup. In this match at Centurion, India was chasing 274. Waqar Younis had dismissed Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar off successive deliveries. India could’ve been 3 down at 55. But Abdul Razzaq, at mid-on, dropped Sachin Tendulkar off Wasim Akram. Tendulkar went on to score a match-defining 98 to guide India home.