Geraint Jones: We look back at the wicketkeeper's career highlights
THAT catch at Edgbaston and a top tandem with Freddie ...
Last Updated: 20/09/15 4:59pm
Geraint Jones will go from cricket player to cricket coach when he takes up a role at Brentwood School in Essex later this year.
But Jones, who played 34 Test matches and 51 ODIs for England, has enjoyed many cricketing highs and as he bows out as a professional, we look back at the best of them …
The one Test ton
Jones scored what would prove to be his only Test century in his fourth innings for England, registering exactly 100 against New Zealand at Headingley in June 2004. Jones - who had notched a brisk 46 in England's seven-wicket win in the opening Test at Lord's - dazzled the Yorkshire crowd, bringing up his ton off just 143 balls and clubbing 15 fours and a six in the process with a host of cuts and pulls. The man born in Papua New Guinea combined excellently with Andrew Flintoff - and not for the last time either - with the pair putting on a crucial 118 for the sixth wicket as England claimed a first-innings lead of 117. Jones then took three catches and ran out the Black Caps' No 11 Chris Martin as the home side eased to a series-sealing victory, the wicketkeeper duly named man of the match.
Two corking catches
Jones' glovework was often deemed inferior to the man he replaced in the England side, Chris Read, but he managed to pouch one of the most memorable catches in cricketing history during the thrill-a-minute 2005 Ashes series. With Australia's tail wagging in the second Test at Edgbaston and the Baggy Greens needing just three runs to secure a 2-0 lead, Jones dived nimbly to his left to dismiss last man Michael Kasprowicz after the batsman had gloved a Steve Harmison delivery. Jones' grab sparked wild celebrations and drew England level in a series they, of course, went on to win. Not that Geraint was done with extraordinary catches, though, with Jones silencing some of his critics and stunning all those watching the third Test at Old Trafford when he flew to his right to catch Shane Warne one-handed after an edge had cannoned of slip-fielder Andrew Strauss' thigh.
Firing with Freddie
Having ran around like a lunatic after snaffling Warne at Old Trafford, it was Jones' batting which came to the fore in the fourth Ashes Test of 2005 at Trent Bridge. With England in a slight pickle at 241-5 after winning the toss, Jones strode to the wicket to bat with Flintoff - and promptly added 177 with the popular Lancastrian. Sure, Flintoff made the headlines with his solitary hundred against Australia but Jones' aggressive 85 was also vital. The then-Kent man continuing to play his strokes after Flintoff was sent packing. Jones smoked eight boundaries en route to his highest score against the Antipodeans as England pushed on to a first-innings score of 477, a position of strength they did not relinquish as they went on to collect a three-wicket win and a 2-1 advantage in the series before sealing the Ashes with a draw at The Oval.
Jones' batting form in the 2007 Twenty Cup was far from mighty - he scored just 62 runs in seven innings - but that wouldn't have bothered him one jot as the Canterbury clan beat Gloucestershire to win the competition in thrilling style. Chasing 147 for victory after Gloucester opener Hamish Marshall - a man Jones would later team with at the Bristol County Ground - had clobbered a 49-ball 65, Kent looked in danger of missing out on the trophy when they required six from the last three deliveries. They needed a cool customer and they found one in the evergreen Darren Stevens (30no from 21 balls), who cracked Carl Greenidge over cover for match-winning maximum. With a T20 crown in the bag, Jones would have been hoping to prevail in the 50-over Friends Provident Trophy a year later but had to settle for second, with Kent beaten by Essex at Lord's.
Fast-forward seven years from that loss to Essex at HQ and Jones, in his final game as a professional cricketer, had a chance to land silverware when the county he joined at the start of the 2015 campaign, Gloucestershire, tackled Surrey. Not only did Jones come out on the winning side but he also played a key role in the victory. The 39-year-old headed to the middle with Gloucester struggling at 100-4, a plight that soon became 108-5, but he notched a hugely-important 50 before becoming the first wicket of Jade Dernbach's hat-trick as Michael Klinger's men clawed their way to 220. Jones spent much of the Surrey innings in the deep with Gareth Roderick keeping wicket but would have had a perma-grin on his face as Oval outfit buckled, Gloucester didn't and the trophy headed back to Bristol. The former England star was subsequently carried off the field in what he described as a "fairytale" end to his career.