Neil Wagner Expects Pakistan to Come Back Hard After Thrilling First Test

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Neil Wagner Expects Pakistan to Come Back Hard After Thrilling First Test

Neil Wagner (R). (Getty Images)







New Zealand pacer Neil Wagner expected Pakistan to come hard at them in the second Test, but said grabbing victory from the jaws of defeat gave his side belief for the upcoming two games.Chasing 176, Pakistan seemed to be coasting along at 130 for 3 but collapsed to 171 all out, losing the first match by just four runs.

”We know that even if we are a little bit behind we can keep fighting, we know what we can achieve,” Wagner said. “It was bloody tough, hard work, a big fight and it will just get harder. Pakistan will come back hard. Hopefully we can do something similar and pretty special.”

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Left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel bagged five wickets in the innings but Wagner’s marathon 13-over spell played a part too. He wasn’t needed to bowl till the 34th over but dried up the runs from one end and bagged the key wicket of Asad Shafiq, triggering a collapse.

“It took a while to sink in,” he said. “Adrenaline was running high. It was pretty hot at one stage, and the nature of wicket, it did feel like you were tiring a little but you tried not to think about it or look at the scoreboard. When someone mentions you’ve bowled 13 overs, then you start feeling tired. I was going all right, you are in a bit zone, and you just keeping going. It hits you when you go to bed. ”

Wagner said the result was ‘surreal’ and described the finishing stages of the game as ‘freakish’. He was happy for Patel, who bowled New Zealand to the fifth narrowest victory in Tests in his maiden game.

“It’s pretty surreal to be honest,” Wagner said. “An amazing fightback. We knew we’d be in with a chance if we kept fighting. That last hour was quite freakish.

“The feeling in the changing room, looking at everyone’s faces and seeing the joy and relief, being surprised at what we’ve achieved. It was pretty awesome to see a guy like Ajaz Patel come in in his first Test, it took me about eight Tests to have my first win, so to play a special part in a win, see a smile on his face, was a cool moment.”

 

First Published: November 21, 2018, 2:56 PM IST