2019 Cricket World Cup, Game 1, England v South Africa
That Ben Stokes catch was amazing. But was it fully amazing? If not, what exact percentage of amazing was it?
Let’s work it out. Only once we have a number will we all know how to feel about it. Everyone knows that emotions are based on points totals.
These are the categories. 25 points for each.
Pretty straightforward. How high did Ben Stokes get?
It wasn’t gasp-inducingly high, but it was pretty damn high. We’d estimate that Ben Stokes attained an altitude of approximately one Steven Finn.
How much running and leaping and twisting and turning was involved in the catch?
Well here’s the leaping.
And here’s the grasping.
If we’d tried to jump like that, one of our knees would have crumbled like dry biscuit, and if we’d tried to reach our arm up like that, at least three bodily components would have torn. It’s possible that one of the torn body parts would have been our pancreas.
If all of the above weren’t enough, Ben Stokes basically took this catch backhand.
Yes, there are several ways you could imagine-up a catch that would technically be more difficult, but let’s not get too silly. This ball was flying at 200mph, eight feet above Stokes’ head and he plucked it out of the air backhand.
Loses one point because he probably could have got in a better position earlier and made the whole thing a little bit less mental.
It wasn’t actually all that important in the context of the game. By this point England were already pretty much certain to win.
It was however extremely important in terms of the catch having been taken in the first match of a World Cup that is being played in an era when 90 per cent of the population of the United Kingdom have completely forgotten that cricket exists but may somehow just about notice it again if sufficiently mad and eye-catching things happen frequently enough.
Ben Stokes’ mad catch was exactly 82 per cent amazing.