Cricket: Five-wicket run makes history

Neil Wagner. Photo / Otago Daily Times
Neil Wagner. Photo / Otago Daily Times

Otago's left-arm quick bowler Neil Wagner rewrote the record books by taking five wickets in one over as the southerners yesterday crushed Plunket Shield rivals Wellington by an innings and 138 runs inside three days in Queenstown.

His match haul of nine wickets also took him to a staggering tally of 51 wickets for the 10-round competition.

The South African-born bowler, who becomes eligible to play for New Zealand next year, was in devastating form with an unprecedented feat in a first-class match in any country during the over immediately before lunch on the third day of the four-day fixture.

Wagner, 25, began his over by having opener Stewart Rhodes caught by Neil Broom for 77 then the next four batsmen were bowled.

Joe Austin-Smellie was the first to register a first ball duck and he was followed by Jeetan Patel and Illi Tugaga, before Mark Gillespie kept out the next delivery only to fall to the last ball of the over.

Wagner's removal of Tugaga marked just the 37th instance in the history of first-class cricket worldwide where a bowler had taken four wickets in four balls and his dismissal of Gillespie left him as the only player to take five wickets in one over.

He then returned after lunch to snare tailender Andy McKay to end Wellington's innings at 148, after they had lost six wickets with the score on 136.

Wagner completed the innings with career-best figures of six for 36.

The previous best performance in an over by a bowler came in the summer of 1929-30 when Englishman Maurice Allom took four wickets in five balls against New Zealand during a test match at Lancaster Park in Christchurch.

Wagner's performance inspired Otago to a lop-sided win, ending Wellington's hopes of claiming the title in the 10th and final round.

Central Districts have kept alive their hopes of winning the title after two declarations and forfeited innings in their rain-affected match against Auckland in Napier set up an intriguing final day today.

Victory today will take Central Districts to 35 points, level with leaders Canterbury.

If Canterbury cannot force an outright result today against ND and Central Districts win, Canterbury could still claim the title as they boast a superior net runs per wicket rate of 5.23 to Central's 4.46.

- NZPA

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