I've bowled a lot better - Wagner surprised by 'bizarre' seven-wicket haul

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Neil Wagner

Wellington, December 1: After struggling for rhythm early in the first Test against West Indies, New Zealand's Neil Wagner has credited "one of those bizarre days" with helping him to post career-best figures of 7-39.

The Black Caps' paceman ripped through the tourists on day one of the series opener in Wellington, twice finding himself on a hat-trick as the Windies were all out for 134.

Somewhat ironically given his eventual haul, the 31-year-old had not felt comfortable with conditions until deciding to harness the settings at Basin Reserve.

"At the start, I didn't really feel like I had a great rhythm," he said.

"I obviously first tried to pitch the ball up to see if there was any swing or movement and adjust my lengths a little bit. I struggled for a bit of rhythm and felt I had to try and find a way of adapting pretty fast.

"So myself and Kane spoke in the middle and I tried to work that wind, when there was a bit of a stiff breeze and eventually worked towards the plan and it came off.

"It was just one of those bizarre days when things sort of happen your way.

"I think I've bowled a lot better on other days and not get a wicket and then you get days like this. I guess it's cricket."

Ominously for West Indies, Wagner feels he did not hit top form despite his damaging display on Friday, suggesting the visitors may have plenty to worry about in their second innings.

He said: "I wouldn't say it was one of those days when you felt 100 per cent perfect and everything is just coming out sweet and the way you want to.

"I felt I had to work really hard and find a way to be consistent and it's just one of those days.

"I recall a couple of weeks back in a Plunket Shield game where I felt a million dollars and couldn't get a wicket. And then you go out there today and things don't really tick but wickets just keep falling.

"As I said, bizarre sort of a thing when you get in a bit of a zone and it works and ends up being your day."

New Zealand will resume on day two at 85-2, trailing by 49 runs.

Source: OPTA

Story first published: Friday, December 1, 2017, 18:00 [IST]
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