As New Zealand script a sensational victory against England by one run, the 36-year-old left-arm bowler Neil Wagner opened up about the team’s celebrations after beating England at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
After a fabulous display by the England batters in their first innings, New Zealand were made to follow on. Thanks to inspirational knocks by Kane Williamson, Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Daryl Mitchell, and Tom Blundell, the Kiwis were able to post 483 runs on the scoreboard and give England a target of 258 runs.
The match kept on swinging like a pendulum, from one end to another. Eventually, the hosts won the match by the slimmest of margins. Neil Wagner, who troubled the English batters with a barrage of short-pitched deliveries, was the hero of the moment. The veteran bowler also opened up about the team.
“Someone’s nail fish-hook in my face, a couple of holes in my shoes with few legs sticking in, these are the moments that stay with life forever – not 5 wickets or whatever,” Wagner was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
Great character from the team to keep fighting: Wagner
Neil Wagner was the star performer for his team with the ball during the second innings of the Wellington Test against England. He claimed a 4-fer, including scalping big fishes like Ollie Pope, Joe Root, and Ben Stokes. The Kiwis clinched victory by one run and thus leveled the series 1-1.
Wagner talked about his thought process towards the end of the match.
“Too much went through my head. Gosh! All the things that go at the top of the mark. What ball to bowl, they needed 2 runs. Should I pitch it (up) and be at his stumps? You just stick to your guns. Keep thinking about getting that glove or catches in play. It just came off. Great character from the team to keep fighting,” he added.
“It’s about summing up the conditions. There is a period where you go at him, take risks, and see if you can do this (bouncing at Stokes) — and buy a wicket. They needed runs, but they also know they can get out. When you get wickets, it makes it hard for the next guy to start. It’s about summing up the conditions,” Wagner explained while referring to the dismissals of Ben Stokes and Joe Root in quick succession.