Gary Stead, New Zealand coach confirmed that star pacer Neil Wagner will miss the second Test against Pakistan at Hagley Oval in Christchurch starting on Sunday due to broken toes.
Neil Wagner braved two broken toes and inspired his team to a memorable victory that would take Kane Williamson’s side to the top of the ICC Test rankings. A Shaheen Afridi yorker hit Neil Wagner on Sunday, but he overcame the injury to bowl in both the innings for New Zealand.
Gary Stead: Neil Wagner Was Amazing As He Braved Injury Concerns
In the 1st Test, New Zealand scored 431 in 1st and 180/5 declared in 2nd innings and dismissed Pakistan for 239 and 271 to win the match by 101 runs. Kane Williamson scored 129 in New Zealand’s 1st innings and was well complemented by Ross Taylor (70), Henry Nicholls (56) and BJ Watling(73).
Pakistan faltered in 1st innings as apart from Mohammed Rizwan (71) and Faheem Ashraf (91) the others didn’t manage double-digit figures. After New Zealand declared at 180/5, Pakistan’s Fawad Alam scored 102 but couldn’t win the match for Pakistan.
“Neil was absolutely outstanding,” Gary Stead told reporters at Christchurch airport on Thursday. “I don’t think there are too many individuals who could do what he did in that test match.”
“Neil hasn’t traveled with us. The injections he was getting (to lessen the pain) were wearing off (quickly) and we can’t let him go through that again.”
Pacer Neil Wagner would be out of action for up to six weeks. Gary Stead said that the Kiwis would likely name his replacement on Friday, adding that they would go “like for like” replacement.
Gary Stead: Fawad Alam And Mohammad Rizwan Neatly Took Match Away From New Zealand’s Grasp
Gary Stead was pleased with New Zealand’s first Test’s performance in both batting and bowling against a tough resilient Pakistan side, who were behind in most sessions for much of the match but were still in with a chance of snatching victory from jaws of defeat in the final session. Fawad Alam and Mohammed Rizwan put up a 165 run 5th wicket partnership after Pakistan were reduced to 75/4.
“That was tough, really hard test cricket and it was good to come out on the right side of it against a tough Pakistan team,” he said.
“I thought Mohammad Rizwan and Fawad Alam’s partnership was outstanding … and they nearly took the game away from us. That’s what makes Test cricket what it is,” Gary Stead stated.
Neil Wagner picked four wickets bowling 49 overs averaging 26.25 while Kyle Jamieson picked five wickets averaging 14.
Fawad Alam came back into Pakistan’s test team after a gap of 88 tests and more than 10 years. In the first Test against Kiwis, he scored his first Test hundred after more than 11 years. There was a gap of 4218 days between the two centuries he has scored in his Test career. In July 2009, he became the first Pakistani cricketer to score a Test century on debut away from home.