In the high-octane world of fast bowling, Lockie Ferguson has taken strides at the Cricket World Cup that place him in the top echelon of this alpha-male vocation.
His performance, dismissing Australia's David Warner and Steve Smith in the space of 14 balls, gave New Zealand initial hope in their 86-run loss at Lord's .
Yes, it proved in vain, but fans can at least take confidence he has the strike power to make a difference against England, and in any potential semifinal.
After his customary stuttering steps, gliding run and pause at the top of his action, Ferguson's first ball came at the start of the 10th over from the nursery end.
Kapow! It was short but, at 142km/h, had to be pinpoint to threaten a batsman of Warner's calibre. The left-hander swayed back but the delivery was on the rampage, kissing his bat en route to Tom Latham's gloves – 38 for two.
Enter Steve Smith. There was no discerning when the boos for Warner faded and those for Smith began in front of a crowd blessed with an elephantine memory regarding their roles as accessories to ball-tampering last year.
Ferguson angled five deliveries into Smith with no sign of weakness. An over from Trent Boult passed uneventfully and Ferguson prepared for another crack once Usman Khawaja worked a single off his pads.
He dropped short and Smith launched an aerial pull shot towards the Warner Stand.
Martin Guptill plucked the catch to his left at leg gully . The feat was extraordinary, given he was less than a pitch length from the bat and had already dropped two chances in the innings. However, Ferguson's pace was the catalyst. Smith could not control the stroke and a chance was created from a calculated tactic – 46 for three.
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The folded arms and stony faces told a story on the Australian dressing room balcony.
The countenances suggested this competitor had earned respect. Smiles returned as the match progressed.
Ferguson finished with two wickets for 49 runs from 10 overs, including a concession of 18 from three at the death.
He continued a trend which has seen him remove at least one batsman in every game at the tournament. The right-armer has 17 wickets at an average of 18.58, economy rate of 4.96 and strike rate of 22.4. He sits second behind Mitchell Starc for the most dismissals – 24 - at the tournament.
Extrapolate that out to this summer. When New Zealand embark on their three-test tour of Australia, it will be hard to leave out a bowler who can generate accuracy in excess of 150km/h on quick pitches.
The same will apply for four tests – two apiece – against England and India.
Batsmen have less swagger, knowing thunderbolts are imminent. He could become a Black Caps cast member in all formats.