HAMPSHIRE batsman Sean Terry had a day to remember for England – exactly 30 years after his dad’s painful final Test.
Former Hampshire star Paul Terry had his arm broken against the West Indies in the last of his two England appearances in the final week of July 1984.
Terry jnr had a more enjoyable experience when, as England's 12th man, he took the catch that dismissed India’s top scorer, Ajinkya Rahane, on the third day of the third Test at The Ageas Bowl.
He spent most of it in the field as a replacement for Ian Bell, who injured a thumb in the slips when Murali Vijay nicked a James Anderson delivery in the ninth over, as India made 323-8 in reply to England’s 569-7 declared.
It was the perfect early birthday present for Terry, who is 23 on Friday. The icing on the cake came when Rahane (54) miscued an attempted pull against Moeen Ali high to mid-wicket, where Terry gratefully received the gift.
“I had a feeling at least one chance was going to come my way,” he smiled. “The heart was going and eight million things went through my head, like whether to take it with my fingers up or down!
“I just tried to get every bit of my hands around it and almost tried to eat it! I had pretty sweaty hands so it was a good moment to get it in my mitts.”
It was a rare moment of joy in what has been a difficult season for Terry, who has not played for Hampshire this season, one marred by an arm broken by Chris Tremlett in a Second Eleven Championship match, just as his dad’s was by Winston Davis at Old Trafford all those years ago.
He responded by high-fiving England captain Alastair Cook before celebrating with the rest of the team.
“I’ve only played a handful of first-class games so to field for so long in a Test match was an awesome experience and one I didn’t expect,” said Terry, who fielded at backward point when he first took the field.
“For the first few overs I was quite nervous waiting for a massive cut shot from Virat Kohli to come my way,” he continued.
“You know so many people are watching and everything you do is being scrutinised but I tried to put that out of my head and got used to it.
“I loved it. The guys made me feel welcome, they’d told me to enjoy it and were so happy [when I took the catch]. It was such an important wicket, Rahane had been playing well.”
The catch was initially credited to Terry’s Bashley CC teammate Michael Porter, the former Hampshire Academy captain who made brief appearances as England’s 13th man.
“Michael‘s been like a puppy dog, he’s loving it,” laughed Terry, the second Hampshire player to take a catch in an Ageas Bowl Test after his former flatmate Adam Rouse helped dismiss Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara three years ago.
Terry’s friends and family in Perth shared in his enjoyment when they woke up to news of his day in the sun.
“I’ve already had a few messages from mates in Australia calling me a traitor,” he laughed. “I’ve always been English at heart but it felt quite strange when I was given an official England cap to wear.
“The only other one I’ve worn is my dad’s old one that we keep in the bar at home!”
The day after Ian Bell described the Ageas Bowl as having the best cricket wicket in the country, Stuart Broad lavished more praise.
“Hopefully it will deteriorate on days four and five and then it will be just about the perfect Test wicket,” said Broad, after he and James Anderson had followed Waqar Younis/Wasim Akram and Courtney Walsh/Curtly Ambrose as the third pace partnership to take more than 500 Test wickets.
That will have pleased Nigel Gray. But, ever the perfectionist, Hampshire’s groundsman has not been entirely happy with the wicket. “I’d have liked a bit more pace and carry in it but with it being so hot, it dried out slightly more than I wanted,” he said.