New Zealand bowler Neil Wagner celebrates the wicket of Bangladesh batsman Mominul Haque during day one of the first Test match at Seddon Park yesterday. Photo: AFP

On the first day of the Hamilton Test, Kiwi pacer Nei Wagners’ plan worked as he picked 5 for 47, his sixth five-wicket haul in Tests, as Bangladesh fell away from a fine start to be bowled out for 234, reports ESPNCricinfo. He has made it his life’s calling to bowl at batsmen’s bodies, intimidate them, bother them and threaten them eventually into a dismissal.
The rewards for Wagner were not immediate, but towards the end of the lunch break, his persistence got him Mominul Haque caught down the leg side. As most bowlers will tell you, one brings two.
Immediately after lunch, Mohammad Mithun’s ill-judged hook shot cost him his wicket, while Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan and Liton Das all fell to Wagner too.
It might seem over-bearing at times, but when it works, it really works. Wagner’s method is robust and physical, and he said that to keep at it can be difficult. But when the catches are taken, it feels like just reward.
“In Test cricket it’s something that’s been quite successful and worked a little bit,” Wagner said.
“It is tough doing it. It’s not easy on the body and obviously you’ve got to keep consistently trying to do it, and on the day it’s got to come off. But credit to all the guys. The catching was phenomenal – the big blue sky like that with a bit of wind around, it takes some serious catching. Our group has been phenomenal at that over the years as well.”
Wagner said that trying to bowl away from Tamim didn’t work, so they had to find other ways to bowl dot balls to him. “We obviously tried to take the ball away from him a little bit. I think he’s obviously quite strong square of the wicket and he showed that even with the ball swinging.
“I thought Bangladesh batted very well. Tamim obviously batted extremely well and for him to come on a day when you think the ball is going to go round and do a bit, to hit us off our lengths and play as strongly as he did shows obviously the quality of the player and how well he played. He made it quite hard for us and we had to fight hard to get those wickets and get ourselves back into the game. I thought we did that really well.”