A yorker by Shaheen Afridi fractured two toes on Neil Wagner’s right foot during New Zealand’s first innings in the December 30 Test against Pakistan. But the fast bowler didn’t let this dent his stride. Wagner, with the help of a couple of painkillers and sheer grit, went on to bowl 21 overs in Pakistan’s first innings and 28 in the second. And he added a four-wicket match haul to his tally.
He also removed Fawad Alam for 102 in a marathon spell of 11 overs later on during the fifth day, putting paid to any hopes of Pakistan managing a victory. The Kiwis eventually triumphed by 101 runs 27 balls from the close.
Kane Williamson, the captain for the Kiwi team, called Wagner’s performance incredible but says that it’s true to nature for the South African-born cricketer. He added that trying to get the most out of the player before the painkillers stopped working was a situation he’d never before encountered!
The Pakistan players also had nothing but praise for the bowler. Skipper Mohammad Rizwan says he told Wagner he’s insane but that his aggressive attitude on the field is beautiful. Batsman Azhar Ali said he had massive respect for Wagner and reportedly told him that he personified what playing for one’s country really means.
Ali added that Wagner is a true inspiration, fighting for his team’s victory with two broken toes. He said that the bowler is an inspiration for committing himself so utterly to his squad.
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