Sat, Dec 02, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Wagner’s ‘horrible’ seven-wicket haul floors Windies

AFP, WELLINGTON

New Zealand’s Neil Wagner celebrates taking the wicket of Shimron Hetmyer of the West Indies on the first day of the first Test in Wellington yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Neil Wagner yesterday rated his career-best seven-wicket haul a “horrible” performance as New Zealand seized the honors on the first day of the first Test against the West Indies in Wellington.

However, as the West Indies licked their wounds after being rolled over in the first innings for 134, they believed they are only one wicket away from getting back into the match.

“The big wicket is Ross Taylor. If we can get him early tomorrow morning, anything’s possible,” West Indies coach Stuart Law said.

Taylor was not out 12 with Jeet Raval on 29 as New Zealand reached 85-2 at stumps — 49 runs in arrears after Wagner ensured the West Indies were dismissed cheaply.

The South Africa-born left-armer, a fiery short-ball specialist, claimed 7-39 and was twice on a hat-trick as he bettered his previous best of 6-41 against Zimbabwe last year, but it was an innings-destroying performance that Wagner did not see coming after the West Indies, sent into bat, comfortably reached 59-0.

“It was a bit of a bizarre day to be honest. I sort of got a bit worried at one stage, they were looking quite comfortable,” Wagner said. “The pitch was not doing as much as we expected and I felt horrible to be honest. At the start I just felt like I didn’t have a great rhythm. I think I’ve bowled a lot better on other days and not get a wicket, and then you get days like this and you end up getting a seven-for ... things don’t really tick, but wickets just keep falling and it’s a just bizarre thing.”

Law described the West Indies batsmen as being “all bitterly disappointed” with their effort, but believed they were still in the match.

“I know we’re a lot better than what we performed like out there today,” Law said. “It’s one of those things, we tend to have habit of not starting a series very well, but by no means are we dead and buried in this contest. A 100 lead or 150 sounds lot, but I believe if we put our minds to it that’s a pretty good batting wicket coming into day three and day four.”

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